Avoiding a picky eater starts at the beginning (and many times, the most you can realistically hope for is a less picky eater).
When were you taught the importance of personal hygiene? What about staying a safe distance from a hot stove? Or even good manners? The most important habits and behaviors we learn to live by were instilled in us from as early on as our ability to grasp them, sometimes earlier.
When introducing foods to babies (which doesn't technically need to start until a year of age), it was recommended to me by my family doctor and pediatric chiropractor to start with vegetables (purées and cooked or softer selections), as opposed to fruit options. The idea behind it is quite simple. We tend to enjoy eating sweet flavors, and if these are the first foods we are introduced to, naturally we will prefer them to less sweet alternatives. Starting with vegetables creates a sense of normalcy for these flavors, and more of a tendency to crave them.
We have a 2 1/2-year-old today, and while he has preferences, I have yet to experience a picky toddler. Now he loves fruits, but he Also loves vegetables! And as much as we want to control everything our kids eat, all we can do as parents is moderate what our children are exposed to and teach them how to make the right choices. We won't always be there to help them. After all, we aren't raising children, we are raising adults who will be capable of making healthy decisions for themselves. It starts with us and it starts in the beginning, moms and dads! Train that palette to crave like a champ!
*It is important to note it is best to start with one vegetable at a time. With a baby who has only ever had breastmilk and/or formula, it is impossible to know what food allergies he/she may have until a reaction has occurred. Giving baby a blend only complicates the process of figuring out which ingredient is the culprit should baby have a reaction.
Guest Mom Blogger:
Lauren Richter, Mother of two