An old wives’ tale my grandmother told me was that the food choices a mother makes during her pregnancy sets the stage for her baby’s later acceptance of solid food. Many flavors in a pregnant lady’s diet are present in amniotic fluid and because the fetus regularly swallows the amniotic fluid, your baby’s first food tasting experience happens prior to birth. So, to all pregnant ladies out there…eat whatever you want your baby to develop taste for!
And, no this is not a pregnancy guide article! Back to parenting…
Eating behavior and taste buds evolve in very early years of life. My toddler now knows that she likes mangoes, steamed rice, and soya katori. Asking and understanding their preference is good. Yes, we may ask them what do they want in dinner but their options are dal or any special veggie. The only way we can control their “preferred food” game.
Babies don’t know their likes and dislikes. They don’t know the taste of burgers, pizzas, or any other junk food. We introduce these unhealthy food items to them and then keep griping about the same our entire life. But to accept the truth, it’s impossible to have them eat only home-made healthy food every time.
I’ve seen parents rewarding children for completing their meal in hopes of increasing their intake of healthy food…but doesn’t this practice actually result in children learning to dislike and avoid that diet (unless you bribe them again).
The other day we went out for dinner and the lady sitting next to us constantly encouraged her children to eat as much as possible when food is available and made clear that she won’t be cooking anything once they are home.
Isn’t it coercion and force feeding?
Why do they have to eat when they don’t want to?
What if they would rather prefer eating home-made or mom-made food?
Are we really not even capable of feeding our children?
The next time you tell your kid to eat something healthy…try setting an example…of yourself?
Hope I made you recall a memory!
If I did, do let me know about it in the comment section below…