We have our own ways of making our lil one eat that meal. But is it easy? I bet not. What if a mealtime becomes simple and fun? Read my tips on how I turned my potential picky eater into a disciplined eater.
After your baby is 6 months old, both of you step into the world of solids. At the outset it feels exciting. It’s not just the milk now. But as days pass by you sense a challenge. You start looking around at other children. Wonder when can your baby turn this chubby! The one question that pops into your mind as you see a fellow mum is “does your lil one eat enough?”
Once my daughter turned 6, I started giving her different foods and textures to taste. Each day I tried with a hope that she will like it. But she never went beyond two spoons. I kept telling myself that maybe its just a phase. Eventually she turned 8. Her food habits didn’t improve. She still barely took two-three spoons at a time. For sure, I couldn’t call it a meal. I started to feel that she might turn into a picky eater.
Today, at ten months, she eats three meals a day. How did it happen?
It wasn’t a cakewalk for sure. Through these months, I realized the importance of a food discipline. In this post, I am sharing the tips I used to move my baby towards a three meal a day routine.
1. No meal sans a high chair
Babies are very good at learning things. Remember, they don’t come with preconceived notions. So make use of it! If you allow him/her to run around the house while eating, they would learn it as the way of having meals. I suggest using a high chair or any other gear that keeps your baby stationery and upright. Whenever you step out, the baby stroller can serve this purpose. Don’t worry if your baby rebels when you put him/her in the chair you just need to be persistent in your efforts. It took my daughter 3 months to be friends with her high chair.
2. Make a routine and stick to it
I am an advocate of routine based parenting. A routine makes your baby a lot more predictable. Like a sleep routine, you should also work out a meal routine for your child. Help your child develop the habit of eating three meals a day. Some parents love to offer food every now and then. I won’t suggest it. First, you never let your child be hungry and ask for food. Second, it makes it difficult to gauge the overall food intake.
3. Keep calm
You can’t resist hunger, right? So is the case with your baby. Don’t get stressed if your baby eats a meal less than usual. Don’t run around or tweak ways to push the food down. Don’t break the routine!
4. Prefer nutrition over taste
I’ve learnt the art of hide and seek while preparing baby food. Did you love those green leafy nutritious veggies as a kid? No one did! So don’t offer them blatantly. Hide them around. Lentils at dinner can be made more nutritious by adding few extra veggies, some cottage cheese and rice. Remember, the baby doesn’t know what a dish should taste like. So don’t try to make it yummy. Look out for nutrition.
5. Feed your baby yourself
It is a moment of joy when your baby picks up that tiny rice grain and takes into her mouth. But let that be occasional. Don’t rush into letting your baby eat by himself/herself. I see parents worrying about this milestone. Have you seen a 10 year old NOT eating by himself? See, they learn! The amount of food you can feed is way higher than what your baby can take on his own. So don’t rush into this. Keep feeding your baby as long as they let you do!
6. Keep trying
The one mantra that works at any stage of parenting is “This, too shall pass!”. Each child has a pace to learn new things. So let them take time, if they need it. And be persistent with your efforts.
I would love to know how you nurture you babies’ food habits. Do connect with me for your queries/suggestions on developing a eating routine for your lil one!