Broaden their minds and their taste buds might follow. Take the opportunity to get your child used to healthy eating at an early stage.
As your child enters his second year, he can gradually start sharing meals with the rest of the family. You can now use an appropriate selection of dishes to get your child used to healthy eating. But what is an appropriate selection of dishes?
The food that you serve should, of course, cater for your child’s nutritional needs both in terms of quantity and ingredients. It should enable your child’s growth and further development, whilst also helping him resist infections. But it is just as important to make sure that the meals are tasty. Make sure your child gets all the important nutrients he needs by appealing to his palate and making eating fun.
If your child doesn’t like the taste of something straight away, offer it to him another day (and another day after that...). As the proverb goes: appetite comes with eating – or else some other time. You should never force your child to eat something, or to clean his plate. Your child (still) knows very well when he’s had enough to eat. Your child’s food consumption will go up and down depending on his personality, his mood on that particular day and his developmental phase.
Children who are brought up to eat a healthy and varied diet will have a firm foundation for the rest of their lives. For it is indeed true with respect to food that a tree must be bent while it is young. Research shows that if a child has been introduced to and enjoyed something at an early stage, he will continue to like it later.
Vegetable food products should therefore form the basis of your child’s diet and should be included in every meal, together with modest portions of meat and some benign fats in small doses. It is important for children to have plenty to drink, just like adults.