These simple steps helped me turn my baby into a healthy eater
From early on I made it a point to give my daughter a variety of foods and I used to just mash it with a spoon, not blend it
The way mums run around their toddlers trying to feed them every bit of the food that’s on the plate, it’s funny, but also a trend that is worrying as it not only makes the toddler averse to food, it also becomes a task that looks too difficult to accomplish.
Recently, I met a friend whose 11-month-old daughter only survived on milk the whole day. As I was curious, I asked her as to why she was not having regular meals with us on the table. To which she replied, “she’s not started solids yet and we just give her a teaspoon or two of rice and porridge once in a day.”
I didn’t pass any comment that time, however, I have a feeling that the mother would have a tough time feeding the toddler as she has still not been introduced to proper meals.
I also see many mothers feeding two-year-olds mashed dal-rice for lunch. Some even blend it in a mixer before giving the child, so that the child does not choke up!
But that’s not how it should be. Your baby adapts to what you feed them and if you feed them mashed/baby food, that's what they will eat for a really long time. At least that’s what I can say that from my own experience. Here are a few things that I followed that helped me turn my child into a healthy eater.
Between 6 months to 9 months
From early on I made it a point to give my daughter a variety of foods and I used to just mash it with a spoon and not blend it. This was a conscious decision as the more sensitive we make a baby, the more difficult it would be for him to adapt to these new foods later on.
- So, she started eating mashed rice with a little dal ka paani when she crossed her exclusive breastfeeding age, that is at 6 months.
- At nine months she was eating sooji kheer, dalia khichdi and lauki soup with lots of veggies in it. Of course, I used to again gently mash the veggies but never pureed them so that the baby’s food pipe and stomach get adjusted to all the vegetable fibre.
- I also added fruits such as apples and bananas to her diet. I would usually steam the apples and give her in a bowl. Bananas were also cut in small pieces before being given. Again, I never mashed them.
- Egg whites were also added to her diet, besides paneer. I would give her fresh homemade paneer.
- I never really gave my baby Cerelac or other baby foods available in the market as they are really loaded with sugar and have added preservatives. Instead I used to give Marie biscuits in milk to my baby in the evening and also dhoodh bhaat. Trust me, it’s way better than giving packaged food to your baby.
- Evenings I always gave her vegetable soup, which was normally made by sautéing all veggies(including spinach) in a teaspoon of oil and then pressure cooking them for a minute. I would then mash it with a spoon.
Continues reading to know what I gave my daughter when she turned one!
When she turned one
Once the baby turns one, his digestion is way more mature than he was an infant and also can digest heavier foods such as chhole and rajma.
- When my daughter turned one, I started introducing her to pan-sautéed veggies such as blanched broccoli stir-fried in light oil and even blanched beans.
- Besides I used to give her raw carrots chopped in small size as a snack in-between meals.
- Boiled rajma and chhole were other snacks that my daughter loved eating during the day and when we travelled and she started gorging on them as she turned one.
- She also started eating other fruits such as watermelon, melons, mangoes, grapes, oranges and pineapple. Whole eggs were also given every alternate day.
- Daal chawal also became a lunch time staple along with homemade curd and some shredded cucumbers.
- While making the daal, I used to add bhindi, lauki and other seasonal vegetables in it only before pressure cooking it.
- Dinner soup had one small roti soaked in it so that it became really soft for the baby. I also used to feed the baby with my hands and not the spoon. Don't all Indian mothers love doing that?
After 18 months
By eighteen months my daughter became quite used to our daily meals and would sit with us and eat by her self, even though she would drop half the food on the table. I never stopped her from doing that as I never really wanted to scare her away from having a meal with the family.
She really looked forward to it and would excitedly pass on cucumbers and rotis to her "papa and mumma". Believe me, it's not that difficult to feed your baby if you start early on. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes fro the baby to digest and eat chunky, adult food.
Today my daughter is four and she eats all vegetables, even beetroot, bhindi and lauki. Your child would eat them, too. Just be a little patient and follow what your heart says and not your mind!
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