I know this post may seem like it is coming a bit late, but I decided to hold it as we got closer to Christmas as I think it’s a perfect dessert for the holidays! For Thanksgiving we did more of a potluck thing and my sisters and mama assigned me dessert. It’s usually my assigned category because I’m a bomb baker if I do say so myself.
This year, Thanksgiving is extra exciting for Timmy, Sonny and I, because we are hosting at our house for the first time! My mom is getting construction done on her house (the house my siblings and I grew up in!!), so we volunteered to host. We have decided to do a potluck style Thanksgiving because I CANNOT cook on my own for 12 people.
Introducing your little one to solid foods can be an exciting adventure, but many parents also find themselves frustrated, stressed and confused.
During the early weeks and months, the tastes and flavors your baby is exposed to will play a large role in shaping their future eating habits.
While this may sound like a daunting task, it’s a wonderful opportunity to teach your baby to enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods and to build a positive relationship towards food and mealtimes.
As you embark on your child’s first flavor-filler journey, follow these easy guidelines to help make this developmental milestone an enjoyable and wholesome one, no matter how you decide to go about it.
Repetition is key
With first tastes, it can take between six and 16 flavor experiences before a particular taste or food is accepted. So, if your baby turns their nose up on the first try – don’t give up. Learning to accept and enjoy certain foods is a process and a learnt skill for us all, so be patient as you offer new tastes to your baby again and again. It’s completely normal!
Role model healthy behavior
You can’t expect your baby to eat their veggies if you refuse to eat them yourself. Right from the start, babies begin to learn from our behavior and the more they see you eating and enjoying a rainbow of veggies, fruits, proteins and whole grains, the more likely they are to mimic your choices and actions.
Avoid infant commercial products and sugars
A baby’s relationship with food and their preferences begin forming the very first time food touches their tongue. Manufacturers often add hidden sugars as they know this will keep your baby coming back for more! It’s important that you teach your baby to enjoy the flavor of homemade, freshly-prepared, unsalted and unsweetened foods, before introducing artificial tastes or overly sweet options. These will form the standard that other foods are compared to.
Encourage your baby to regulate their own appetite
It’s important to allow your baby to feel that they’re leading the way and making their own choices. Babies are extremely good at regulating their own appetites so if they’re offered healthy and nourishing foods, then there’s no need to limit their portion size. Baby’s whose parents follow their hunger and satiety cues are more likely to embrace a healthy weight.
Embrace the mess and encourage self-feeding
Allow your baby to reach for food and feed themselves. If your little one is being spoon-fed, offer them their own spoon to attempt to feed themselves. It’s sometimes easier to have two spoons at mealtimes, one for you and one for your baby.
If your little person refuses to be spoon fed or if you’re embarking on baby-led-weaning (bypassing the pureed foods in favor of immediately moving to the exploration of foods in their natural state at their own pace), try offering finger foods but don’t limit their choices to ‘appropriate finger foods’. Instead offer oatmeal with some compote to make it thicker, banana muffins or try bolognese over pasta shells so they can pick up and explore the shells covered in the nutritious sauce. Remember that enjoying food is a sensory (and messy) experience.
Be wary of disguising food
Allow your baby to experience the true flavor of foods right from the beginning. Little taste buds are forever changing, so don’t rush into disguising their veggies by adding them to fruit purees or sweetening natural yogurt with pear puree. Remember that little ones can reject food up to 16 times before giving it a go, so instead, allow them to taste the undoctored flavor and texture of the food on offer.
Praise and positive reinforcement
Encouragement at the dinner table is key! Babies love praise, so applaud your little one for eating new foods. If both parents praise a baby for eating well, it can have a long-lasting effect, making mealtimes a happy and positive experience for the whole family.
It’s important to make time for family meals as much as possible. If it’s too early for you to eat your meal, put a small amount of food on a plate for yourself and sit to eat with your baby. Our Coconut, Fish and Vegetable Stew is a great dish for babies and parents to enjoy – simply serve yourself and then puree the rest for your baby or fussy eaters. This way, you’ll only have to cook once to feed all the hungry tums.
Remember to always keep veggies visible on your plate as it will help to spark their interest and encourage them to imitate your good habits.
Mealtimes should be fun
Why else do we as adults spend so much time dining out or inviting friends to our homes to join us for a meal? Get your little one involved with preparing family meals, sing songs with them or even make pictures with veggie sticks and dips – create imaginative ways to help your baby enjoy their mealtimes. Don’t worry about table manners or mess for the moment – the most important thing is that they enjoy the whole sensory experience – even if it means sticking their fingers into everything and eating with their hands!
Visit the Wholesome Child website to learn more about Mandy Sacher. Her book “Wholesome Child: A Nutrition Guide with more than 140 Family-Friendly Recipes” is available to purchase onlineand through iTunes and Amazon. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
A few weekends ago, Timmy and I hosted a little get together with some friends and family. With summer right around the corner, I figured it’s the perfect time to start the grill up and get everyone to hang out in the backyard. Barbeques are my favorite to host during this season because they’re laid back, relaxing, and of course… include the best food! You can never go wrong with the traditional burgers and steak, but I’ve recently tried out some yummy recipes that I’ve found from cookbooks, online, etc. to add a twist to the occasion.
This content is sponsored by Cointreau. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Cinco de Mayo is officially here and there’s no better way to celebrate the day than with a little fiesta! This year, Timmy and I are going to be hosting some friends and having a little get together! Whenever we’re having company over, my favorite part of hosting is decorating, creating the ambience and making a special cocktail! Of course, on Cinco de Mayo, no party is complete without a yummy margarita. To make the classic cocktail, I partnered with Cointreau (the crystal clear orange liqueur) and mixed up something soooooo good — The Original Margarita.
Did you know The Original Margarita dates back to 1948 Acapulco when socialite Margarita Sames mixed her two favorite spirits together — Cointreau and tequila?! Cointreau gives it just the right flavor since it’s the perfect blend of both bitter and sweet orange peels.
The 1849 French brand is also a key ingredient in many classic cocktails, like the Cosmopolitan and Sidecar. To make the beverage for this weekend, I followed the Cointreau Original Margarita recipe:
1 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. Blanco Tequila
1 oz. fresh lime juice
Once you have everything ready, it just takes a few simple steps:
Shake all ingredients with ice
Strain it into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass.
Ta-da! You’ve got a delicious margarita for you and your guests to enjoy.
There’s one number every new parent should know: 1,000.
No, it’s not the number of diapers you’ll have to change, or the number of hours of sleep you’ll lose this year because of your newborn – that number is probably higher. Instead, it’s the first 1,000 days of your baby’s life from the moment of conception to age 2.
Join us for our sixth installment of Your Best Bundle – Postpartum Nutrition & Diet with Carlyn Rosenblum, MS, RD. Carlyn is the resident nutrition expert at Gugu Concierge and founder of MTHR Nutrition, a concierge nutrition service for women and families during the pre-conception, pregnancy and postpartum phases.
As many of you know, my breast feeding journey was very trying. From the day I started, it never felt right. From the pain of latching to mastitis, to the overwhelming burden of time spent pumping, I tried and tried and suffered from that self-imposed guilt from quitting that so many of us new moms suffer from.
Every month I am going to revisit my favorite things, both old and new, that I MUST HAVE in my life. We all know there are those certain items we can’t live without that make our lives so much easier or just simply, stuff we LOVE! Let me know if you have any other MUST HAVES I am totally missing out on! Also keep an eye out for a new series where I feature all of my favorite things for Sonny!
So I know what you all may be thinking, ” geez, they waited a LONG time to feed this baby real food!”. Well, you aren’t wrong ;). In this weeks Chapter of I Love My Baby, But… we discuss the daunting task of SONNY STARTING SOLIDS.