Mom Talk Monday: Stubborn Eater
Photo Credit: Girl on the Wire
My sweet little girl seems to be taking after her Daddy lately — she is not interested in eating fruits and/or vegetables whatsoever. This concerns me as I don’t want to raise my daughter to:
- be a picky eater
- only eat carbs and starches
- expect every meal to be a battle
- expect if she holds out long enough, I will cave and just give her what she wants
So what to do? I do not support or agree with the “you’re the boss, just make her do it” method. This creates a sense of distrust in the child, as she doesn’t understand the concept of nutrition, and she just wants to eat what tastes good to her! We can all relate to this idea. Why would I force her to eat things she doesn’t want to eat? I wouldn’t want to do that to my friends or family, why should I do that to my baby?
Nor do I agree with the “just starve her, she’ll eventually eat,” method. This is just cruel. What’s more, it doesn’t work. She’ll just look to nurse more frequently.
According to this source, babies are expected to still be getting the majority of their calories from breastmilk or formula for the first year. This means that although the additional foods we are giving her are contributing to her daily caloric intake, they are not necessarily providing her with a great amount.
Alternatively, many babies never go through the entire pureéd baby food experience. Many go straight to finger foods. Naomi loves to feed herself dry cereal, rice rusks, and muffins. But mushy cereals and vegetables are not on her list of favorite foods.
According to BabyCenter.com, Naomi’s daily dietary intake should consist of the following:
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup dairy (or 1/2 oz. cheese)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup fruit
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetables
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup protein foods
- 3 to 4 oz. non-citrus juices
I don’t agree with giving babies juice because it’s not something they need and can become something they become dependent on. However, for the most part, I think this is a fairly straightforward guide for what your baby should enjoy.
So with the idea that the majority of her diet will consist of breastmilk, here are my thoughts on how I can increase the amount of fruits and veggies in her diet:
- feed her from my plate, allowing her to enjoy the fruits and vegetables I eat throughout my day. Let her try my soups, mashed or steamed veggies, salad bits, etc. As long as they don’t contain an allergen, it’s free game!
- mix fruits and veggies into the carb things that she likes — muffins, cereals, pancakes, spread on toast.
- roll the soft fruits and veggies in crumbs from crushed cherrios, as well as in the dry cereals.
- try letting her eat frozen fruits and veggies, to help ease the discomfort and pressure from those poor teething gums
Does anyone else have any suggestions for me to help get Naomi eating yummy fruits and veggies? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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