Published: 10/16/2013 - Updated: 03/03/2016
Food culture is changing: Every day there is more junk food available to us and our children also face the influence of television, the internet, and different advertising media daily that encourage them to consume unhealthy foods.
So we can see daily homemade food being displaced and disappearing from people's diets, and so children's diets are suffering as a result. The good homemade recipes, traditional desserts, soup, etc., are being replaced daily by industrialised products lacking identity and essential nutrients for our children.
Known as "weaning", this process refers to the introduction of semisolid and solid foods to your baby's diet. When the baby was only breast-fed, it had no point of comparison between texture, taste, temperature, smells, or weight of his/her food, therefore you must try everything, being careful to always respect the maturity of his/her digestive system.
It is advisable, when showing food to children, to show the whole fruit or vegetable first, so that the baby will associate the shape and colours with the taste, as identifying foods such as porridge which is completely uniform will not allow the baby distinguish the differences of food beyond taste, colour and smell.
Allow the baby touch the food, feel its texture, shape, and weight.
No one should be denied the opportunity to try what they want, even if it is salty, spicy , sour or bitter, with the exception of foods which make you sick.
Once the child is a little larger, we recommend you show him/her how their food is prepared.
From 7 to 12 years
This is a stage in which it is difficult to introduce new foods: There is often a reluctance to try something that is unknown or not on the everyday menu, but do not panic because this situation is completely normal.
Although it may be difficult, it is good to use our creativity. Try to offer fun food presentations, for example, use fruits to form a happy face on the plate, or a flower that catches their eye.
Add a "special guest" to your menu, if you want to introduce new foods in the diet of your child, try to use a "different" ingredient in different forms for about a week, it is easier for them to give-in and accept a new food if you stimulate the child's curiosity first.
Not only is it recommended that your child be present and see the process of food preparation, but participating in the preparation of food is also advisable to involve your child in choosing family menus.
Do not limit yourself to a single preparation: If the child does not enjoy the food in a specific way, try to offer it in different ways, as in the case of tomato. Your child may not like it raw, however, if it is seasoned with a little oil olive and spices they may encounter a different experience. If the child still does not like it, remember that tomato may be the main ingredient in sauces and pasta, among other things, and the child must understand that each dish is different.
- The most important thing is to lead by example, as a parent you should consume foods that you expect your children to consume.
- Never force a child to eat a food, always seek to use creativity to arouse their curiosity.
- Be patient, sometimes it will require several tries for them to accept a particular type of food.
- Avoid rewarding healthy eating with unhealthy products, for example , "if you eat broccoli , you can eat ice cream later"
- Try to make sure that healthy foods and their consumption are based in a pleasant atmosphere.