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  • Book recommendation - healthy eating habits babies & toddlers

    (4 replies)

    hi there! My daughter is about to start solids. I'm looking for a book on encouraging healthy eating habits in babies and toddlers. any recommendations?

    For raising our 2 young children, we have only used 3 books extensively- one on sleep (Ferber), potty (Oh Crap...), and this one, on eating: Child of Mind: Feeding with Love and Good Sense.

    It divides the responsibility of eating two ways: parents decide when and what; and our children decide how much, including none, or tons.  The result: our children have a varied palate- veggies, slightly spicy foods (S. Indian grandma still working on that), fruits, nuts, fish, sushi, meats. He even likes kombucha; and coffee, beer and wine (which of course we serve rarely and in small amounts). In fact, we're not certain of any food our older son categorically rejects (younger just started solids several months ago).  I think a big part of this is how these responsibilities have been divided up.  If we don't want him to eat ice cream, we just don't serve it.  And when we do, we can have as much as he wants.  The book goes further to suggest the we serve dessert with the rest of the meal. On the nights we've been courageous enough to do this, it's worked.  He's eaten a pretty balanced meal.  He'll self-regulate and even stop on the dessert as well.  Sure, he can eat 4 servings of ice cream in one sitting, but we don't offer it often.  And it's amazing to see him stop after awhile, considering how much he enjoys it.  Another result is that he's very good at sharing, and will even share his favorite desserts. I think that's because we don't limit them when we serve them.  The other thing that this book supports, implicitly, at least, is that beside food for infants (which needs to be soft and moist as they're just learning, and their teeth may not all be in), there's no such thing as children's food.  It's like music- we serve them what we like, and they adopt our tastes (so it seems to us). Obviously, there are billions of people who did not grow up on chicken tenders, fish sticks, or hamburgers and candy.  If one night your child doesn't eat it all, it's not the end of the world.  

    There are lots of other tips- how to introduce new foods, how not to crazy about eating, etc.  We highly recommend it.  Our sons (hopefully the 2nd one as well, and he seems to, so far- loves brie, cauliflower, chili, etc.) enjoy food, we never feel stressed about it, and we're not short order cooks. PM me if you'd like to chat more about it.

    With the caveat that my son is also at the very beginning of his solid food journey, I’ve really liked Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracy Murkett.

    Super nutrition for babies. It's a great book with both information and simple recipes. I'd also recommend baby-led weaning which has a website too. It's not actually about weaning but about letting babies feed themselves. I've done this with both my kids and it's great for me and them as I haven't spent tons of time pureeing food or buying baby food from the store. 

    Hello! I recommend checking out Ellyn Satter. She has many books; the one I read when my children were starting solids is called Child of Mine. I found her approach to be very sensible -- in a nutshell, you decide when and what, the child decides how much. Good luck on your journey! And don't forget to have fun -- eating should be joyful!

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