As a new mother, there are many things you must attend to. Of course, the first few initial months you will feed your child with breastmilk or formula. However, when more solid foods are introduced, so will the new feeding habits. Instead of laying next to you or in their chair, they will be seated upright to a degree or at least supported upright in a form of a portable seat. This is not the only major change you will begin.
Rougher food requires more effort to eat. While we might enjoy delving into a steak during our indulgent moments, we did have to learn this basic skill. For a baby to initially develop a positive perspective on mealtimes and food, it pays to get this right. This means making dinner time fun for you and your child. It means paying attention to issues that might occur. It means setting the stage just right. This way, your child will likely associate eating with fun and early familial memories, something that gives them a beneficial outlook to last them for life.
The atmosphere of your child’s eating environment means a lot for how certain attempts at feeding will play out. This means purchasing colorful and easily sterilized cutlery and plates. It means allowing for a comfortable high chair that keeps them securely in place. It means potentially even playing some light music. Television can be a good way to keep them distracted, but it is superior to allow them to fully connect with the food they are eating.
Children learn through their mouths and play with their hands. Allow for this clean space in front of them to be a place where they can play to a degree. This allows a child to feel free, and not limited to experiencing food through the spoon you hold to their mouth. This might be hard to draw the line between teaching your child good eating habits and allowing them to explore, but allowing for both makes for a much more healthy interaction.
It’s important to ensure that this time is taken for a purpose. In order to overcome the initial strange hurdles and hesitations that your child might experience, you should be patient. Slowly hold the food to the child’s mouth. They might recoil, but gently press it to their lips. Let them smell and taste it a little. The best thing to press here is that food is not something to be fearful of. Of course, the plane noises that go so well for multiple children might work here.
You might also make a fun game out of it. Play hide and seek or peek a boo. For every two bites of food, perhaps allow for a small reward, however that is defined. Eat your food with them so they can associate and understand the actions that are taking place. Depending on the dietary requirements of your child, try and change up flavors as much as possible to keep things fresh. You can click here to find the best baby food marker for ease of use. When it’s slow, you can make eating into a form of fun dance, with silly faces and cute sounds.
With this beginning effort, you can slowly begin to ascribe positive reinforcement in your child, setting up potentially healthy dietary relationships for life.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.