The many pleasures of mealtimes
Eating is an essential human function. Every race and culture has its own eating habits. Teaching them to children is one of the bases of bringing them up. The pleasure of mealtimes plays a fundamental role in passing on these habits.
Many health professionals think that an enjoyable shared meal is an important aspect in good health. It seems that food eaten too quickly, for example in front of the television, is nutritionally less well absorbed.
Enjoyable mealtimes for you and your baby
By enjoying your family meal:
- You are making your baby want to imitate you.
- You are showing your baby that eating is something enjoyable and entertaining.
- You’re doing yourself some good.
How do you do it?
- Find quick and easy recipes, and always have the basic ingredients at hand.
- Settle down comfortably at the table and take your time.
Some practical tips
When you can, prepare some dishes with your baby:
- Show her what you’re doing and explain things as you go along. Get her to take part in the process; even if she is very small, she can go to the shops with you to learn about fruits and vegetables.
- A baby’s sense of taste is not the same as an adult’s. It is often more sensitive, but this is not a reason to deprive her of strong-tasting foods such as cheese. Instead, offer her a very small quantity so that she can gradually get used to it.
If your baby likes a certain food:
Repeat the experience several times, presenting it in the same way, so that your baby takes pleasure in finding this food again and remembering it. You can vary the same recipe later and come up with different presentations using herbs, decoration, etc.
Help your baby like vegetables:
- Often young children don’t like vegetables because they don’t find them filling. Try mixing them with rice, noodles or pasta.