my spaghetti monster. yes, those are peas she's so happy about. read more under "be sneaky" below.
- make your own. this is my one budgeting tip. when mine was tiny i used this website to make pureed foods. now that she's older i still make everything i feed her. and don't buy expensive baby-brand snacks. they love cheerios... and don't forget to wait for sales! :)
- start with veggies, then move to fruits. it may help them develop a like for the non-sweet stuff first.
- try, try again. don’t let a bad reaction to a specific good food keep you from trying the food again. wait a week or two and then try it again. their bad short term memory may mean they forgot they didn't like it!
- try different consistencies or serving styles. for example, my daughter wouldn't touch mashed bananas, but she loves feeding chunks of bananas to herself. same goes for other typical baby foods - carrots, peas, green beans, pears, peaches, apples - maybe they don't like it mushed, but they may like it in little chunks later.
- wait on things you feel strongly about. since tiny ones aren't supposed to have whole wheat yet, i waited to give emery bread with any consistency until she was almost one. that way, she didn't get hooked on white before she tried the good stuff.
- strive for variation. you wouldn't like a whole meal of just pears would you? neither does baby. :) change from day-to-day as well so they don't get bored of the good things they like.
- if they have a good favorite - work it. i know i can always get in at least 1 fruit a day because em loves bananas. that's fine - a banana a day is great for her so work it!
- be sneaky. i recently discovered emery loves noodles with pasta sauce... and that she doesn't notice if it's actually 1/2 pasta and 1/2 peas under that sauce. see the happy spaghetti monster above. she also loves cheese, so i'll melt cheese on stuff so she'll eat it.
- feed them new things first, when they are hungry. if they really won't eat it, give them something else.
- steer clear of sweets. the sooner they realize they are around, the sooner they'll want to eat just sweets... just like their moms. :)
- have their eating influence yours. make things that are baby-friendly for dinner that you can all benefit from. cook so that they are getting the nutrients they need and your get yours too. they love being "big" and having what you have for dinner and you'll love not having to cook something else. ex. pasta and sauce (sneak in peas and/or spinach), quick cream cheese and spinach pasta, shepherd's pie, chicken noodles and mashed potatoes and my next recipe of the week - black bean tortilla casserole. em scarfed it down. stay tuned!
and yes, here's me... the skinny bovine, herself, actually making an appearance on her own blog. i got bored with my hair last week and cut my bangs. i haven't had many comments from friends... i'll assume the worst. any feedback??... anyone?? :)