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This happened when my son was around 15 months. We had gone out for lunch and ordered for a sumptuous Kerala meal. One of the side dishes was made of bitter gourd a vegetable that I loathe. While feeding my son, I avoided that dish. But he insisted on having it. Even though I told him that it tastes bitter, he was adamant. He tasted it and to my surprise he loved it. He happily relished the whole dish. It was an eye opener, to say the least.
Often, we, parents try to impose our tastes on our children. We somehow tend to assume that our children will have the same taste preferences like us. Of course, as most of dishes cooked at home are to our tastes, our children naturally imbibe them. But exposing them to a variety of tastes right from their early days is very important to avoid picky eating later on.
Mothers especially have a great role in helping children develop good eating habits. In fact, researches suggest that children enjoy those foods that mothers ate during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Also, babies are receptive to new tastes till they are about a year old. After that, they tend to stick on to what the tastes they developed so far. In order to help our children, develop healthy eating habit, we could adopt a few tips, namely:
Developing healthy eating habit has a long-term impact on a child’s growth and development. As you might already know, 90% of a child’s brain development happens before they turn 6. During this period, they need proper nutrients as well as proper sleep and rest to restore themselves and help in their development. As parents, you might already have observed a link between children’s food habits, sleep and their temperament. I have often observed that when my child properly has his dinner and drinks a glass of milk at night; he has an undisturbed sleep at night and wakes up in the morning in a happy mood. Whereas if he skips his milk, his sleep is disturbed and he wakes up early morning hungry and grumpy, often spoiling his mood for the entire day.
Getting a toddler to eat well is definitely a hard job. But nevertheless it needs to be done for their overall development. Laying the right foundation right from the time of weaning can help make your child a better eater. So, let's start right and develop the right foundation for our children.
Picture Courtesy: http://wholesometummiesblog.com