Once your little does start eating real food it's time to set habits and patterns that will last the rest...
Once your little does start eating real food it's time to set habits and patterns that will last the rest of his life. child_eating.jpgThere are many mistakes surrounding nutrition that parents can make but here are five biggies you should try harder to avoid. Not eating meals together: As a baby it can seem easier to feed your baby and then eat but get into the habit of eating with your baby right from the start. He can see you eating healthy foods and using table manners. In general kids who eat with their family on a regular basis have less behavior problems, better eating habits, and tend to be fitter. I know it seems like you can't get a mouthful while helping your baby try to eat but this time will pass quickly I swear. Don't get into the habit of separate meals. Sweets as rewards. Personally I think the less fuss made about sweets the better. We believe in food freedom at my house which means if Cedar wants candy or cake he gets it. We've done this since he was little and now he thinks sweets are no big deal -- just another food item. Sometimes he feels like a sweet and sometimes not. This is a huge difference from friends of ours who make a huge deal out of sweets such as pointing out that sweets are SO special and at many times forbidden. The kids I know who are raised like this go completely nuts when they see candy. If you think my approach is too radical try at least not making a fuss so that your child doesn't grow up thinking sweets are the coolest thing ever. Make just as big a scene about veggies and rice. Not enough variety. Babies and toddlers only need very small balanced servings so don't over do it. As your child gets older only increase servings as needed. Serve specially kid sized foods that vary in color, texture, and flavor. When kids are sick a lot it's often a clue that enough nutrients aren't being offered -- make sure that at least five servings of fruits and veggies are on the menu each day and cut some sugar if you child can't kick things like common colds easily. PP Keyword: MEALS worth 25 points good through 11/25/07

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