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How can I encourage my baby to try new foods?

How can I encourage my baby to try new foods?

The first time you offer your baby new foods (especially something with a bitter or sour taste) get that camera ready because you’ll receive some funny and slightly amusing faces. We have put together some of our favourite tips about helping your little one enjoy food and different flavours. 

Where to start

When you first start introducing solid foods, it’s great to start with small amounts to get them used to the idea of eating. You can then start to gradually increase the quantity and number of meals. 

Tastes and textures

Early doors, it's worth offering them a variety of textures and tastes. Don’t feel disheartened if they reject it the first time- keep trying again and again. In fact, on average it takes up to ten tries for a baby to decide they like the taste. 

Watch the sleep

If your baby is tired or moody, mealtimes will likely be a bit tricky. Try and be consistent with meal times and at a time when you know your baby is likely to be refreshed and in a good mood.

Allergens

Allergies do zap the fun out of weaning, but an important thing to keep in mind and read about before weaning your little one. Read our blog about the different types of allergies and if you have a history of allergies in the family, it’s worth considering a method like a 4-day introduction where you can slowly introduce foods and spot any reactions. 

Embrace the mess (for you and your baby!)

Your heart may sink when you see a rainbow of colour spread all over your baby’s face and their high chair.  But when your little one is exploring tastes and textures, whilst learning to coordinate hand-to-mouth action, there is bound to be a spill or two. Pop a bib on and maybe have some floor coverage and you’re good to go!

Be a role model

With busy lives, it’s hard to sit down and eat together all the time, but when possible it’s a good idea to demonstrate the variety of colours and textures you eat, as well as showing how you eat with a spoon or your hands. And spending family time together at the dinner table, with screens away, with full focus on each other, is usually appreciated by young and old and creates memories.

Breathe and relax

Most of the nutrition for the first 12 months will come from breast milk or formula. Like adults, appetite fluctuates so we can expect the same from babies and toddlers. Instead, let them eat what they want and try not to put them under any pressure. It’s great to set a relaxing atmosphere at mealtime- that could be playing the same track list music every time or just making sure that there are no distractions around like TV. 

Overall, introducing foods to your baby can be a really fun and exciting time. Please don’t put too much pressure on yourself and let them explore a range of foods and tastes to help develop healthy habits for a lifetime. 

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