You want your baby’s first encounter with food to be a happy, successful experience, one that will make her coo, giggle, and delight at the new tastes and textures. It’s truly a major milestone for baby and Mom as well as an opportunity to foster a love of good food early on.
Quality Food and Delicious Bites
Encourage your little one’s expanding palate by giving her real, natural fruits and veggies. You can make your own, or, if you don’t have time (we know how you feel!) try Beech-Nut. Many of their new recipes use only whole fruits and vegetables; flavors like “just carrots,” “just honey crisp apples” or “just sugar snap peas,” contain only those ingredients–and nothing else. It’s as close to homemade as you can get.
Timing Is Key
New moms know how important “the schedule” is. Keeping baby well rested, well fed, and well entertained will make for a more predictable day—and a less irritable baby. That said, be sure to introduce foods when your infant is awake, alert, and enthused. A tired child will not take well to new experiences. And that goes double for food.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Get in the habit of putting baby in the high chair and establishing a quick routine. Gadgets and TV should be off and out of sight—except to snap a quick picture, of course! Small high-chair toys are fine, but try to avoid anything that is too big, loud, or distracting. This should be about quality time with quality food, and you’ll be amazed at the allure a simple spoon can have.
Make Mealtime Lighthearted
For months your child has had nothing but breast milk or formula, so don’t be dismayed if solids are not an instant hit. When it comes to eating, practice makes perfect. It can take 10 or more times for a baby to respond positively to a new flavor, so keep your cool as you introduce and reintroduce new foods over the course of a few weeks. Most important, remember that this one-on-one time should be fun for you and your child—so sing silly songs, make funny faces, and enjoy these sweet parenting moments.
Scoot baby up to the dinner table and have mealtime together as a family. It’s important to make your littlest love part of this nightly tradition. You want your child to see you trying, eating, and enjoying all sorts of foods—so be a role model, Mom.