Dos and Don’ts
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.