Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Green Stuff

While the jury is still out on the effect of eating certain foods in pregnancy, it’s well-known that foods that mom eats during breastfeeding affect the taste of her milk. From the very first nursing, a breastfed baby is learning about the unique diet her family follows and receives a gentle introduction to the world of tastes. Researchers believe that this is part of the reason that breastfed babies typically accept a more varied diet and are less likely to be picky eaters.

Despite everything parents do to ensure their children eat a healthy, varied diet, pickiness often occurs in the preschool years. Isabelle ate every vegetable we offered her from asparagus to zucchini in her early years, but developed a real suspicion of anything new and “green stuff” as she approached her third birthday. This is quite a natural phase as children begin to make choices and define their own preferences.

Parents should continue to model good eating habits and offer healthy choices from which their toddlers can pick. If everything on the table is healthy, it will no harm if they only eat one dish. If all else fails, sneaking some ‘green’ into a tomato sauce is as easy as buying a hand-blender and making sure that they aren't in the kitchen while you're making the sauce. (Just don't tell Isabelle about this one - she's already a bit suspicious!)

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