There is nothing more overwhelming than having a baby. Bestowed upon you is the biggest responsibility you will ever have, yet babies come with absolutely no instructions. As a parent you are at the mercy of your instincts, the advice of others, or honestly, just winging it. There are going to be many mixed messages about what is right, and what is wrong, especially from your mother in law. There are some things that you can do to help your child develop good habits that will follow them for the rest of their lives, no pressure though…right?
If you are at the stage where introducing more foods and fluids is appropriate, you may be wondering what is best. There is a right way to introduce foods and one which is not as good. When you are feeding your baby for the first time you want to ensure that you aren’t creating a fussy toddler. There is a reason why some toddlers are more fussy than others. Besides personality traits, it is about the choices you give them. If you give them choices that lead to bad habits, they are more likely to choose the ones leading to bad habits.
What to feed when…
It is always best to introduce healthy foods first. Because on the whole, nutritious foods may not taste as good as the unhealthier ones, it is best to tailor their choices. When feeding them, try to introduce vegetables before fruits, and water before fruit juices. If given the choice between sugar over no sugar, your toddler is most likely going to go for the sugar. It is also true that the body craves what you feed it. Therefore, if you start out with water, you are introducing your baby to the healthier choice right off the bat. Since you fed them water, they are going to crave water. In fact, when you give a baby water first and get them used to it, they are most likely going to prefer it over the sugary fruit juices for a lifetime.
When you get used to water, fruit juices taste “too sugary” or “too heavy”, and your toddler will most likely reject juices in leu of the alternative of water. That is why it is always best to introduce things to them that are better choices. The things that they like when they are little have a great impact on the diet that they have as toddlers, teens and even adults. If you give them water at the start they are more likely to make better choices for a lifetime.
There is nothing bad about fruit juices, they hold many nutrients that your child needs, so halting them all together is not necessary. If you want them to drink more water, and prefer it over the sugar substitutes, it is crucial that you introduce water first and allow them to get used to it before you give them other options. You crave what you eat and drink, so have them craving the things that will foster good habits and a healthy and sound body.