Healthy eating starts with you
It’s not just genes that you pass down to your baby—her eating habits are influenced by what and how she sees you eating at family mealtimes. She’s more likely to eat healthy foods, and be willing to try new foods, if she sees you eating them.
A healthy diet is all about eating enough of the nutrient-rich foods that your body needs—for example, grains, meat/fish/protein foods, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products—as well as drinking plenty of water, every day. Parents who lead by example when it comes to their food choices not only reap the benefits of their own balanced diet, but can feel encouraged by the positive impact it’s having on their baby’s diet too.
Enjoy your food
As well as demonstrating a link between the fruits, vegetables, snacks, and drinks in your diet and those in your baby’s diet, research has shown that she is more likely to give new foods a go if she sees you enjoying them first. In fact, your impact as a role model is more effective than simply offering a new food to your baby. “Studies show that there is more chance a young child will try new foods if they see a parent or caregiver happily eating them, compared to if they are offered new foods without having a role model with them at the table,” explains Anne Dattilo, PhD, RD, Associate Director of Nutrition Science at Nestlé Infant Nutrition. “They are also less likely to accept healthy foods if their parent or caregiver demonstrates a dislike for them in front of the child.”
So, be a positive role model now. Let your baby see the whole family enjoying mealtimes together to set her up for a future of healthy eating.
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