Dos and Don’ts

Your Baby & Toddler - - Talking Point -

DO en­cour­age your child to try dif­fer­ent foods. DON’T force him to eat foods he doesn’t want to eat. DO take into ac­count your child’s in­stincts – within rea­son, if he seems to have a crav­ing for a cer­tain good food, let him in­dulge in it. DON’T de­mand he eat “one more spoon for Mom”. Eat­ing isn’t some­thing he does to please you, it’s some­thing he must learn to do to sat­isfy his tastes, hunger and needs. DO be well pre­pared – so if your baby gets sud­denly hun­gry, there’s some­thing you can fix for him quickly. Mak­ing ba­bies wait a long time for food can make them so ir­ri­ta­ble they even­tu­ally refuse to eat. DON’T re­place a re­fused meal with a “spe­cial treat”. Of­fer some­thing equally nu­tri­tious in­stead. DO stop of­fer­ing a cer­tain food if your baby re­peat­edly re­fuses it – he prob­a­bly gen­uinely dis­likes it. DON’T re­ward fin­ish­ing a meal with a treat – this will be­come a bad habit. DO avoid giv­ing him very sug­ary, very salty, or overly greasy dishes – and def­i­nitely noth­ing too spicy ei­ther. DON’T bribe or bar­gain with your child (with, say, the of­fer of a choco­late bar for eat­ing up all his veg­eta­bles). The mes­sage you’ll be send­ing is that eat­ing is an un­pleas­ant job that re­quires a re­ward.

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