- Breastfeed! For at least two years, if not three. This will make sure your baby gets all the calories and nutrition needed, plus you'll avoid all those nasty allergies later.
- Don't introduce solid food until your baby has reached these three milestones: can sit up unaided, has a tooth, and tries to grab the food and shove it in their mouths. Usually a bit after 6 months.
- Avocado and tofu are the best baby foods. (Around 8 months old!)
- Be a good example and eat healthy food yourself! (Remember, they're grabbing it off your plate. And the foods flavor your breast milk.)
- Only offer water to drink.
- Eat spicy food when your pregnant and breastfeeding, and don't be afraid to let your toddler try moderately spicy food - we prefer to call it "flavorful".
- No sugar or extra salt. Your child should have no idea that white bread exists.
- Serve children a salad just before the meal. Even babies. I stir up raw spinach greens with flax oil and nutritional yeast for Méabh. She loves to suck the oil off the leaves.
- A toddler will eat a nutritionally balanced diet if left to their own devices and offered only healthy food. Although it looks like they are only eating bananas, eventually it will even out. I promise.
- A person needs to be offered a new meal 3 times before they feel comfortable with it. The first time I served steamed artichokes (20 years ago) Tabitha wrinkled her nose. And again the second time. But then.... ask Tabitha how she feels about steamed artichokes now.
- When serving a complex meal to a toddler, separate the items. For example, I like my Matar Paneer all mashed up. But let a toddler explore the individual flavors. Peas, rice, tofu, cilantro, sauce for dips.
- Have the kids help you cook early on. I let my children use a sharp knife when they lose their first tooth. This helps when they get older, because they can start making you fancy dinners!
- Play restaurant. My children love this game. We make big chalkboard menus, and design a fancy, healthy, balanced meal. We have candles, tablecloths, music, the works.
- Now and then let the food pantry run low, and play what I call "Rat Day" ( I love pet rats. You can call it whatever you like.) Try to make fun foods with whatever you can find. Who knew that canned beets warmed up with cracked pepper could be so delicious?
- Don't eat too much. People often eat when they're bored. Bored is good for you.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Healthy Eating from the Start
Here are some of Many Hands House's tips for raising healthy, adventurous eaters, right from the start.
Matar Paneer is a recipe I have been making for decades. It's a family favorite and Chris' very very favorite. I usually make it ...
16 years ago, Chris and I were trying to decide what to make for Yule supper. We went through our many cookbooks, and settled on Rec...
In response to this post over at The Pagan Family, this recipe is dedicated to Michelle. Goat Cheese, Spinach and Tofu Tacos Ing...
We LOVE this meal, adapted from a recipe in the Veganomicon. We serve it wit with peas and tofu cubes. The lime juice adds a lo...
Hasn't the weather been incredible?!? I know it's scary from an environmental standpoint, but I am enjoying it anyway! This wee...