You already know that the eating habits established in the first few months of life may influence your child’s body structure for the rest of his life. So what’s new?
Now is the time to explore new flavors. How can you know that he is ready? Try answer the following questions.
Does he sit by himself, almost with no support, and holds his head steady for a long period of time? Does he look away from the breast or the bottle and tries to grab food from other people’s plate? If so, he is probably ready!
So what should you give him?
It is better to start with healthy foods, rich with iron and vitamins, such as vegetables, chicken, meat and cooked fish. Hold on with the fruits, so that he won’t get accustomed to sweet flavors. It is difficult to triumph sweet, after that all of the other flavors aren’t as interesting…
Avoid giving snacks and industrial food, as well as sweetened juices. The strong flavors of industrial foods will take over your child’s developing sense of taste, and will hurt his ability to enjoy healthy and quality food.
How to serve the food?
Start by giving small bites for tasting. With time, the amount will grow. Make sure you give all of the tastings as a mash of soft food. Try giving one new food at a time, this way you will know what to avoid in case he doesn’t like it or something doesn’t work out. It is best to try a new food every three days. If the little guy refuses to eat a certain food, don’t give up! His sense of taste will change with each passing day, so you can try offering him the same food even for as long as ten times.
Encourage him to eat by himself. Obviously it makes the house messy and dirty, and prolongs the meal duration, but it will help his developing motor skills.
Last updated: May 2017
Authors - Tamar Sudry BA MED, Dr. Yair Sadaka MD PhD, pediatrician, Pediatric neurologist