When can a baby have real food

When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods | Nutrition

For more information about how to know if your baby is ready to starting eating foods, what first foods to offer, and what to expect, watch these videos from 1,000 Days.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children be introduced to foods other than breast milk or infant formula when they are about 6 months old.  Introducing foods before 4 months old is not recommended. Every child is different. How do you know if your child is ready for foods other than breast milk or infant formula? You can look for these signs that your child is developmentally ready.

Your child:

  • Sits up alone or with support.
  • Is able to control head and neck.
  • Opens the mouth when food is offered.
  • Swallows food rather than pushes it back out onto the chin.
  • Brings objects to the mouth.
  • Tries to grasp small objects, such as toys or food.
  • Transfers food from the front to the back of the tongue to swallow.

What Foods Should I Introduce to My Child First?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that for most children, you do not need to give foods in a certain order. Your child can begin eating solid foods at about 6 months old. By the time he or she is 7 or 8 months old, your child can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts and cheeses, and more.

If your child is eating infant cereals, it is important to offer a variety of fortifiedalert icon infant cereals such as oat, barley, and multi-grain instead of only rice cereal. Only providing infant rice cereal is not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration because there is a risk for children to be exposed to arsenic. Visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administrationexternal icon to learn more.

How Should I Introduce My Child to Foods?

Your child needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong.

Now that your child is starting to eat food, be sure to choose foods that give your child all the vitamins and minerals they need.

Click here to learn more about some of these vitamins & minerals.

Let your child try one single-ingredient food at a time at first. This helps you see if your child has any problems with that food, such as food allergies. Wait 3 to 5 days between each new food. Before you know it, your child will be on his or her way to eating and enjoying lots of new foods.

Introduce potentially allergenic foods when other foods are introduced.

Potentially allergenic foods include cow’s milk products, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, and sesame. Drinking cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages is not recommended until your child is older than 12 months, but other cow’s milk products, such as yogurt, can be introduced before 12 months. If your child has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, talk with your child’s doctor or nurse about when and how to safely introduce foods with peanuts.

How Should I Prepare Food for My Child to Eat?

At first, it’s easier for your child to eat foods that are mashed, pureed, or strained and very smooth in texture. It can take time for your child to adjust to new food textures. Your child might cough, gag, or spit up. As your baby’s oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.

Some foods are potential choking hazards, so it is important to feed your child foods that are the right texture for his or her development. To help prevent choking, prepare foods that can be easily dissolved with saliva and do not require chewing. Feed small portions and encourage your baby to eat slowly. Always watch your child while he or she is eating.

Here are some tips for preparing foods:

  • Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with breast milk, formula, or water to make it smooth and easy for your baby to swallow.
  • Mash or puree vegetables, fruits and other foods until they are smooth.
  • Hard fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, usually need to be cooked so they can be easily mashed or pureed.
  • Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.
  • Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry, meat, and fish, before cooking.
  • Remove seeds and hard pits from fruit, and then cut the fruit into small pieces.
  • Cut soft food into small pieces or thin slices.
  • Cut cylindrical foods like hot dogs, sausage and string cheese into short thin strips instead of round pieces that could get stuck in the airway.
  • Cut small spherical foods like grapes, cherries, berries and tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Cook and finely grind or mash whole-grain kernels of wheat, barley, rice, and other grains.

Learn more about potential choking hazards and how to prevent your child from choking.

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Solids, Finger Foods, and More

Written by Gina Shaw

In this Article

  • Baby Milestone 1: When They Can Start Solids
  • Baby Milestone 2: When They’re Ready to Move From Puree to Chunks
  • Baby Milestone 3: When They Can Sit in a High Chair
  • Baby Milestone 4: When They Can Manage Finger Foods
  • Baby Milestone 5: When They Start Using Spoons
  • Baby Milestone 6: When They Can Try Highly Allergenic Foods
  • Baby Milestone 7: When They Can Drink Water
  • Baby Milestone 8: When They Can Completely Feed Themselves

There are many milestones that need to be achieved when a baby is ready to start to eat solid foods. Here are some of the big ones.

Baby Milestone 1: When They Can Start Solids

Most pediatricians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend introducing solid foods to babies when they are between ages 4 and 6 months. That’s when they start to lose the “tongue-thrust reflex” or extrusion reflex, which is important for sucking the breast or bottle when they are younger, but interferes with feeding. Babies at this point can also lift their heads up independently and hold their necks high.

If your baby is around this age, can sit up well with support, and shows interest in the foods they see you eating, it’s probably a good time to venture into feeding your baby solid food. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, it is recommended that you wait until they are 6 months to start solids.

Baby Milestone 2: When They’re Ready to Move From Puree to Chunks

“Chunking up” babies’ food is a process -- obviously, they shouldn’t go straight from rice cereal to raisin bran. But after the first few weeks of adjusting to eating rather than just drinking their food, your baby should be ready to handle a little more texture in solid foods.

Introduce new textures slowly. Good starters are mashed bananas or mashed avocados. You can also use the “staged” store-bought baby foods -- going from the smooth puree of stage 1 to the slightly thicker stage 2 and then the chunkier stage 3 by around 9 months of age. (Babies don’t necessarily have to have a lot of teeth to handle more texture in their foods -- they can often gum soft foods very well!)

Baby Milestone 3: When They Can Sit in a High Chair

When babies are ready to eat solid foods, they can sit upright with support and hold up their head and neck. They're capable of sitting in a high chair! That's a serious milestone, but you'll need to follow these safety rules: Always buckle a baby into their chair for safety, even if they are unable to get out with the tray in place. As they get older and become more active, they may be able to squirm out. It is a good habit to buckle a child as soon as you place them in their chair -- even if you think there's no chance they could fall out or climb out. You may get distracted for a moment, which happens really easily when we are trying to do a million things at once!


Baby Milestone 4: When They Can Manage Finger Foods

Babies between ages 7 and 11 months usually tell you they’re ready to eat more grown-up foods by trying to grab them from you. Almost any food that is healthy and nutritious and has a soft texture makes a good finger food, if it’s cut small enough: diced pasta; small pieces of well-cooked vegetables such as carrots, peas, or zucchini; and pea-sized bites of chicken or soft meat. Small, unsweetened round cereals and cereal puffs are also a good choice. Avoid feeding your baby grapes, hot dogs (even cut up), nuts, and hard candy, as they are choking hazards.

At first babies “rake” food into their hand, but soon they develop the “pincer grasp” that allows them to pick up small objects between thumb and forefinger. At that point, your baby can become a pro at self-feeding, so encourage finger foods and let your baby explore!

Baby Milestone 5: When They Start Using Spoons

Almost as soon as babies adjust to being fed with a spoon, they'll want to hold and grab the spoon themselves and put it in their mouths. That doesn't mean they're graceful, of course.

Most babies don’t learn to use a spoon effectively until after their first birthday, but let a younger baby who’s interested give it a whirl for practice. Try giving them a soft-tipped spoon to hold while you feed them with another. They can get used to holding the spoon themselves and will also be distracted from grabbing yours.

When you think they are ready to actually navigate the spoon into their mouth, try thicker, stickier foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, or cottage cheese. Another tip: Put some cream cheese on the spoon and then a few pieces of O-shaped cereal on top. The cream cheese won’t fly everywhere, and the baby can get the experience of actually getting the cereal into their mouth.

Expect a mess! Use a plastic or other waterproof bib, and put a mat under the high chair to make cleanup easier.


Baby Milestone 6: When They Can Try Highly Allergenic Foods

Some pediatricians still recommend waiting until children are at least age 1 before offering them certain foods that are considered highly allergenic, like eggs or fish. But current research doesn’t demonstrate any benefit to waiting past a certain age to introduce these foods, unless you have a significant family history of food allergies or other reasons to believe your baby may be predisposed to them.

There is no evidence that introducing highly allergenic foods to children under age 1 makes them any more likely to be allergic to them, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now says it’s fine to give these foods before the baby's first birthday. Many pediatricians are still very cautious about shellfish and peanuts, however, because allergic reactions to these foods can be particularly dangerous.

Baby Milestone 7: When They Can Drink Water

Babies don't need water during their first 6 months of life. They get all the water they need from breast milk or baby formula. Babies under age 6 months should not be given any water at all, because it’s easy to fill up their tiny stomachs -- and they should be filling up on the nutrients they receive from the milk to grow. Once they start eating mostly solid foods, around age 9 months, they can start water with meals using a sippy cup.

If your older baby shows an interest in water that you’re drinking, there’s no harm in letting them have a few sips. Just don’t let it replace the nutritious breast milk or formula they should be getting.


Baby Milestone 8: When They Can Completely Feed Themselves

Mastering eating with utensils is a long process. Most babies do not become really skilled at it until they are well past their first birthday. Encourage your child to practice safely, and again, be prepared for a little mess. (How else will you get the “oatmeal in the hair” pictures that will embarrass them years later?)


Complementary foods for a child - the introduction of fruit puree, fruits and juices into the diet of infants

Historically, fruit juice was recommended by pediatricians as a source of vitamin C, calcium, and other vitamins. The juice is delicious, sweet, children drink it with pleasure, and suddenly it turned out that there are potential risks: the high sugar content in the juice increases calorie intake, overweight and the risk of caries. More recently, about twenty years ago, doctors recommended the introduction of complementary foods, starting with juices and fruits. But now the situation has changed. Children's nutritionists believe that the optimal time for the introduction of juices is 1 year after the child gets used to the main complementary foods: vegetables, cereals, meat, fish, fruits. At the same time, you can find recommendations to give juices from 6 months or after 3 years. Carbohydrates, which are abundant in juice, change the child's appetite, but to get the required amount of vitamins, you need to drink a lot of it, about 1 liter! In addition, they do not give a feeling of satiety and the child may be prone to overeating.

Introduction of fruit juice American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations: download

  • Optimal to completely avoid the use of juice in infants until 1 year of age;
  • AAP and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines state that juice should be offered to babies in a cup, not a bottle, and that babies should not go to bed with a bottle in their mouth.
  • They concluded that long-term exposure to the sugar contained in the juice on the teeth is the main factor influencing dental caries.
  • After 1 year, fruit juice can be used as part of a meal or snack. It should not be drunk like water during the day or used as a means to calm an upset child.
  • Do not give juices if the child has diarrhea, oral rehydration solutions only.
  • The development of perioral rash in some children after feeding freshly squeezed citrus juice is most likely due to the chemical irritant effect of the acid.
  • Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms that some children experience are most commonly associated with carbohydrate malabsorption.
  • Although fruit allergy can develop at an early age, this is rare.

Baby food - fresh juices

It is not recommended to introduce freshly squeezed juices to children under one year old. But there is no strict ban. Juice up to a year is not useful, unlike children older than one year . It contains a lot of fruit acid, which can lead to increased peristalsis and intestinal walls, pain, and digestive disorders. Dilute with water in a ratio of 1:1. And remember, fresh juice retains its maximum amount of vitamins in the first half hour, so do not store juice for later. With a later introduction of juice, their better tolerance is noted. This is due to the maturation of the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract and its readiness for the absorption of juice. But even with this, the child may experience pain and bloating, regurgitation, and stool disorders. This is due to the presence of organic acids in juices, which have an irritating effect on the gastrointestinal tract.

How do I start adding juice to my baby?

First, a teaspoonful (about 5 ml) between feedings, observing the baby's reaction. For children under 3 years old, juices are recommended to be diluted with boiled or baby water in a ratio of 1:2. Freshly squeezed juices - up to 7-8 years. The amount of juice: from 1 year to 1.5 years - up to 100 ml, should not be exceeded. At 2 years - 200 ml.

It is best to give green apple or pear juice first. Juice from plums, apricots, peaches - it is better to give at an older age, they have a slight laxative effect.

Then you can give a mixture of juices from 2 or 3 fruits. You can give a mixture of cherry, cherry, currant, raspberry juice, orange juice, pineapple, mango, grapefruit and mixtures thereof. It is better to give grape juice from 5-6 years old, there are a lot of carbohydrates.

It must be remembered that:

  • Apple, carrot and pear juice - strengthen
  • Plum, pumpkin, apricot, peach - weakening

This can be used if there are digestive problems.

If we choose industrial juices - carefully read what is written on the label, there should be no artificial additives, dyes and preservatives. Do not use opened packages. Should I give industrial juices for baby food? Why not? They are made from high quality, proven, specially selected raw materials, production is strictly controlled, they have balanced compositions and optimal taste. Until the age of 3, buy juices for your child only marked “baby food” on the package.

Introduction of fruit and fruit puree - European recommendations

If your young child has already tasted vegetables and accepted them, it's time for fruit. The season is always for them, but the best is in autumn, when the most delicious apples, pears and plums appear. Fresh fruits from all over the world are available in stores all year round, but it's worth starting with seasonal, locally grown ones. And these are: apricots, raspberries, apples, pears, plums. They contain not only vitamins, dietary fiber, but also minerals, including valuable microelements, which should be present in the child during the expansion of the diet.

Fruit is usually recommended from 6-7 months of age. Complementary foods often begin with fruit or vegetable purees. But it is better to start with vegetables. Fruit puree tastes better, is sweeter, and the child may then eat vegetables worse. But vegetable puree will not affect the baby's desire to eat fruit dishes. Therefore, more often pediatricians are advised to give fruit dishes after the introduction of vegetables and cereals. Start complementary foods with fruits in the form of mashed apples or bananas or pears. Then you can add fruits that grow in your area of ​​\u200b\u200bresidence. Then you can include fruit and fruit and vegetable mixtures.

Fashionable but exotic fruits or with strong flavors - strawberries, mangoes, kiwis, currants - are best introduced later. But there is no strict ban.

Fruit puree should be started with 1 teaspoon in the morning, increasing to 100 g over 2 weeks.

Homemade or factory made? As you wish, subject to the basic hygiene rules of cooking. If you have time, make your own fruit puree. Plums, apricots, banana can be mashed in a mortar or blender. Grate apples and pears on a fine plastic grater. For the first time, the apple can be boiled, then it will be soft. Pour the prunes with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes. Do not add sugar!

Homemade fruit puree - don't forget about hygiene

Pour boiling water over a grater, preferably a plastic one or a blender, wash and peel the fruit.

Gradually make the fruit puree coarser.

Start with liquid puree, at 8 months - finely ground puree, at 10 months of age. - puree from larger particles.

When the child has 6-8 teeth, you can give pieces of fruit and he will eat them on his own.

Properties of various fruit purees

  • Banana puree is a good source of trace elements: magnesium and potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Bananas rarely cause allergic reactions
  • Prune puree can act as a mild laxative that increases intestinal motility. Contains potassium, vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin).
  • Blueberry puree contains tannin - tannin, contains pectin, which has a disinfectant and anti-inflammatory effect, contains a large amount of provitamin A - beta-carotene, which is good for vision, manganese. In addition, blueberries are low allergenic. Apricots are an excellent source of potassium, carotene, vitamin C and pectin.

Tips from the Nyankovskih Healthy Child University

  • Fruits are sweet and can be used instead of sweets.
  • Fruits should be included in the child's diet as the second food group after vegetables. They can be given quite early, when the baby is four months old (between 17 and 26 weeks of age).
  • Initially it can be a mousse (or puree from a jar) and then an apple scraper with a spoon.
  • In a few days the child can try other fruits, berries, currants, raspberries. You can serve them on their own or add them to cereals, desserts. When a child is 10-11 months old and knows how to eat fruit purees and mousses, he should start learning to eat fruits in the form of soft particles, as well as himself, with a pen. Offer him peeled peaches, apricots, plums, grapes (no seeds!).
  • The new rules for baby food are a real revolution. Parents no longer have to stick to rigid patterns. The parents decide what the child eats and the child decides how much he eats.

Video: child feeding - introduction of fruits, fruit puree, juices, feeding in gdudnoy and artificial feeding

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12+1 advice on how to teach your child to eat healthy

I am a happy mother of two perfectly healthy children who eat almost everything I eat. And I think that these are not just two separate facts, but a causal relationship: proper nutrition for children and their health.

At the same time, I am not a “superwoman” at all, I do not have a nanny, a cook, a personal trainer and a nutritionist (however, the latter is completely useless to me, because I myself am one). I don’t even have relatives on hand who can take the children for the weekend, freeing up my free time, or come to visit, capturing provisions for the week ahead. In general, I am the most ordinary mother. The only thing that distinguishes me from other mothers is that, by virtue of my profession , I understand like no one else how important it is to teach children to eat right.

Not without pride I can say that I myself sometimes wonder when they voluntarily refuse juice or "Cola" at a party, choosing water, and paella with an abundance of clams of various colors and pumpkin soup with ginger are called their "dishes life" is a direct translation from the Danish "livret".

Actually, the menu of the Danes is not particularly correct, and the children's diet often shocks me: an abundance of soda, sweets, endless pasta with meat sauce and dominance of dairy products. So society is clearly not conducive to consolidating healthy eating habits in children. At every children's party, just look at the food served to understand that Danish children have endless colds and allergies for a reason. Yes, children are here all year round on the street, but snot under the nose from October to April is considered the norm here. And if they are not, then they are even surprised.

In addition, there are many chronic diseases in Denmark such as otitis media. Personally, I also attribute this to malnutrition and poor intestinal microflora, which directly affects children's immunity. And how can she, the microflora, be good when bifidobacteria feed on fiber, which we mainly get from vegetables? After all, if the child’s diet consists of what they managed to stuff into him by hook or by crook (bread, rolls, cheese, sausage, sweets and pasta with meat), then why be surprised that the child is constantly sick?

Personally, I get the impression that modern parents are so busy that they no longer have the strength to fight with their child for proper nutrition. As a result, many give up and let the children eat what they want. What they want, as a rule, is not salad and fish…


But! Dear Parents. Stop for a second and think: now you will save time and energy by succumbing to the persuasion of the child, but in the long run everyone will be the losers. After all, if your child is often sick, then it takes a lot of time and effort. Both yours and his. And in general, it is so disgusting to get sick! In addition, food is not just calories. It is the building material for our body. And there is no need to talk about how important this is for growing organisms. Your child's diet today is an investment in their future health, as pretentious as that sounds.

I am sure that all parents want only the best for their children. And certainly everyone at least tried to accustom children to proper nutrition. Let me share as many as thirteen tips on how to do this in practice. All advice is based on my personal experience, and believe me, it works. I came to this somewhere intuitively, somewhere through reading smart books about children and their upbringing, and I simply borrowed some advice from other parents.

So, how to teach a child to eat healthy

Tip 1: No baby food

Yes, you read that right. After the child has the opportunity to chew on an equal footing with adults, he should eat exactly the same as the rest of the family. Of course, you can (and even should) at first pick out, for example, pits from olives before giving them to your child, but here you can prepare “children's” dishes specially or, even worse, feed your child with special baby food from jars, no need.

I know many families where mother prepares two dinners - one for a small child, and the other for the rest. Like, we don't have this, and this, and this. Where such confidence? Have you tried giving it to him at least a try? Why did you decide in advance that olives and pickled artichokes are not for children? Let the child try, and there he already decides whether he has them or not. Personally, my son already adored olives at 6 months. Moreover, the more intense taste they had, the more he liked them. So save time and effort - cook what you usually do.

I remember my ex-husband once said that I cook food that is not for children. When asked what kind of "children's" food this is, he answered me: "Well, pasta , potatoes and rice." I answered honestly that I was not going to eat pasta, potatoes and rice for dinner for the next 17 years just because I had children. The idea caught on, because he (her husband), apparently, didn’t want to eat like that either, and he wanted to cook for the children even less. And I refused to do it. And I never regretted this decision.

Tip 2: Be consistent - no means no

If you make a rule, stick to it and don't change your mind halfway through. For example, if you promised dessert only to those who ate their dinner (whole or a specified portion), then in no case give up the slack. If the child has not eaten the agreed amount of food, then no dessert. And then let him be offended only at himself if his older sister was given fruit, but he was not. It's a shame? Undoubtedly! But those are the rules of the game.

If you threaten every evening with no dessert, but then, out of the kindness of your heart, offer it to your child, he will quickly realize that from now on he can not eat dinner at all if he does not like it. After all, there will still be dessert! And what kind of fool would eat a salad if you can immediately proceed to fruit or candy in general? They set a condition - stick to it, otherwise you will not only not accustom the child to normal food, but also lose his respect.

Tip 3: Be an example

It is foolish to tell children about proper nutrition while eating a hamburger and washing it down with cola. Children do not do what we tell them, but what their parents do.

Recently I scolded my daughter for the fact that all her clothes are lying around in her room for nothing, to which she reasonably told me: “Mom, everything is exactly the same in your room. ” And she was right ... I had nothing to say.

Therefore, when accustoming a child to proper nutrition, first of all, start with yourself. Take a hard look at your eating habits. To do this, I recommend writing down everything you eat and drink for 5-7 days, including weekends. For many, this is sobering and makes you look at your diet in a new way.

Before my nutrition consultations, I usually send people these charts to fill out, and you know what? Most are surprised and about 80% say at a meeting: “In fact, I don’t eat quite like that. There were just guests here (holidays, weekends, vacations, birthdays, a lot of work ... "- emphasize the necessary. But, my dears! There is no standard life in principle. Therefore, proper nutrition does not happen only on those days when everything goes without interference. After all, interference is that very life.Therefore, try to eat healthier every day.How to do this with the least loss of time, I already wrote here .

Tip 4: No sweets on weekdays

Yes, that's right. The point here is that sweets really bring joy. And when joy becomes commonplace, it is no longer joy at all. Many people give their children sweets and cookies every day, saying that sweets are needed for the brain to work. Firstly, this is not true, because the brain needs glucose, and not just sweets. We are able to get glucose from the most ordinary food. Secondly, by eating sweets, children do not have “place” for normal food. Sweets really kill the appetite. So save the treats for the weekend.

Advice 5: From drinks - only water

Milk, juices, fruit drinks and compotes are already food, not thirst-quenching drinks. I remember a woman wrote to me who did not know how to feed a child with normal food. As it turned out, he drank about 2 liters of milk a day. And this is in their 2-plus years! At the same time, he was given a “healthy” whole-grain cookie as a bite. “Because there is fiber and no sugar,” this lady told me. Cunning manufacturers take advantage of our ignorance: the name “sugar-free” often hides completely harmless sweeteners or fructose. Therefore, the utility of such a product tends to zero.

Of course, you can give children juice, compote, and fruit drinks (please note that they are free of preservatives and added sugar). But remember that this is already food that takes the place of more healthy products. Personally, I give children a small glass of juice on weekdays at breakfast, and on weekends we drink vegetable smoothies with berries and fruits.

Tip 6: Establish a diet and stick to it

Children have a much easier life when they know exactly what, when and how will happen in their lives. Rituals and regimen give them confidence and make their life more understandable. When they clearly know that they have such and such options for breakfast on weekdays, and such options on weekends that they have hot food for dinner, and after it - fruits and on weekends - ice cream, then this saves everyone time and nerves. Children will not test your patience and beg for sweets with tears on Wednesday. Instead, they'll be happily munching on bananas and walnuts for dessert, calmly waiting for Friday's when ice cream finally arrives. They won't ask you for a soda at dinner, knowing that it's only allowed on holidays and when going to a restaurant.

I guess it sounds cruel - so many hardships and rules. I have heard from my relatives more than once that I am too strict a mother and “no one has died from sweets yet.” But the most important thing is that my children do not consider themselves deprived, and at the same time they are cheerful and healthy. It follows from this...

Tip 7: It's your child, so it's up to you to decide (and not mother-in-law or others)

Society often considers it its duty to intervene in the process of raising children. You will see, as soon as you decide to go against him, and, for example, stop giving milk to children, then you will definitely hear the opinions of others about this, and more than one. The environment generally loves to stick its nose into the affairs of others. Such is, apparently, human nature. And your relatives will be ahead of the rest here, I guarantee you. I advise you to politely explain to them why you are doing this. Most likely, not everyone will understand you and not everyone will support you. But that's not your problem anymore.

I heard a lot about how my children are guinea pigs, that I deprive them of their childhood (read sweets and soda), that they don’t eat well and don’t get enough calcium (due to the lack of dairy products in their diet)… Yes, a lot Total! But the result is obvious: at every family holiday, everyone looks with tenderness at my beloved children, who are happy to eat grandmother's cauliflower soup. And of course, a bonus in the form of no sick leave due to the illness of children. They don't really hurt me. I sometimes even start to worry about whether their immune system is sufficiently involved, and whether it has something to train on . .. So, if you decide something, do not pay attention to sidelong glances. Your decisions do not have to please everyone, and it is impossible. If you want to understand, then just say that your child is allergic to these products. Diseases are respected more than prevention of health, so this excuse works flawlessly. Checked.

Tip 8: Make arrangements with relatives who help you with your children

If your children often spend time with their grandparents, then outline the rules of the game. If you decide that your child does not consume dairy products or Coke, but at the same time the house where they are going has exactly these food traditions, then gently inform them that this is not necessary to offer children. For example, my ex-husband's sister is a real Cola manca, and everyone in her family, including children, drinks this drink in liters. If my children are staying with her, I ask you not to offer them Coke during this time.

The most interesting thing is that they still listen to me. Everyone is used to the fact that I am a little bit in terms of healthy eating and are no longer surprised and do not argue.

Tip 9: Don't panic!

Try not to go too far on the prohibitions. It's a fine line, and I probably won't be able to explain in two paragraphs exactly how to do it. But I'll try to explain with examples.

If my children go to my ex-husband's sister for a couple of hours, where synthetic sweets are everywhere, then I choose the greater of two evils (Cola), and I only talk about a ban on her. Nothing bad will happen if they eat some harmful sweets, right? Moreover, out of habit, their taste does not seem so delicious to my children, and they still don’t eat much.

Same with children's birthdays. I have no right to decide what the parents of another child will serve at the holiday. In 99%, this is something completely unhealthy (for some reason, most parents are sure that children love everything only the most harmful). I do not want to make my daughter into a special girl with strange parents who, bringing her to strange houses, announce the list of what she is not allowed to do. And she, in turn, will not feel like a white crow. An added bonus: she knows that IN PRINCIPLE she can do anything. But not always. The same principle excludes the appearance of the "forbidden fruit", which is so sweet.

Tip 10: Explain

Children are very intelligent creatures. Even at 2 years old, you can talk to them like adults and explain everything to them. I always tell my children in detail why it is good to eat vegetables (to get vitamins and not get sick), why you can’t have cola (you will get sick and your stomach too) and why a lot of sweets are bad (there will be bad teeth and you can become fat). I explain everything to the elder in more detail. For example, that if her scratch does not heal for a long time, then you need to eat a lot of food from vitamin C and give a list with examples. I tell her about fish and omega-3, about the capabilities of the brain and about what it needs for normal work, and so on. Of course, I have a lot of knowledge on this topic. But I think that if you yourself are interested in proper nutrition, then it will not be difficult for you to explain what is good and what is bad. Most likely, it is these clarifications that will help your child choose water instead of soda in a restaurant, even if there are no prohibitions on your part.

Tip 11: Agree with your child to try all food

To get used to a new taste, we need to taste food 10 times on average. That is why agree that the child should try everything on the plate. If he really does not like the food, then it is allowed to spit it all out neatly into a napkin. So you leave the child the right to choose, and he will not have to choke on something completely hated. But on the other hand, he will try something new, and then, you see, over time, he will get used to all these “adult” products such as broccoli and mussels.

That's how I got my kids used to vegetable smoothies, although at first I couldn't even add a whisper of spinach to them, as the drink was immediately refused. Now half of the composition is greens, and children drink it with great pleasure.

Tip 12: The child should sit down to the table hungry

If you have been giving him fruit, nuts, cookies with milk all day, then do not be surprised if he does not eat anything at dinner. The degree of fastidiousness at the table is directly proportional to the degree of hunger. If you can't stand the whining of a hungry child, for example, at 5:00 pm, then give him something really useful: julienned vegetables, nuts

hour". And if he doesn’t eat dinner later, then it’s okay, because he fully received the necessary nutrients in a snack.


12 + 1 Top Tip: Don't make food a problem

After serving a really "unchildish" dinner, don't stress too much about whether your child will eat it. No need to look in his direction with caution, saying what a wonderful soup turned out today. Better focus on your plate or on talking with your family.

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