The formation of healthy eating habits is begun at a very early stage. As we introduce the infant to outside foods, it is important to allow them various tastes, and also fortify them with plenty of nutrients from all foods.
As the infant is first exposed to outside foods, it is important to give them interesting foods that they find appealing. This will give them the incentive of eating more and trying more foods. If they find the foods unpallateable they will tend to resist outside foods altogether, therefore care is utmost.
When you try first foods for children, make sure the consistency is right. This is very important as they choke very easily, and will refuse all foods later. Foods must be cooked and pureed very well. Avoid adding much salt, or any sugars to food. Children can be allowed to develop these tastes later on. The best is to start with a cereal that is meant for infants.
There are many easily available options to choose from. For those who want to give only home foods to their infants, try the thin gruel of cooked pulses and rice. This is healthy and also very filling. This is best given at noon as a form of lunch. This allows the rest of the day to digest and also readies the infant for the practice of eating lunch.
An afternoon snack that is good for infants is a fruit. Initially, it helps prepare the child for transition to solids. Mashed fruits like banana and stewed apples are the ideal fruits to begin with. The taste is refreshing, and nutritional value is high.
The most important thing to remember while introducing the child to first foods is that you must allow only one new food to be added every day. Give the same food for three to four days before you start on another food. This allows the infant to get used to a particular taste and also gives you a chance to know foods that your child rejects or those that do not agree with the infant.
You can gradually start giving other forms of food once you know the infant is accepting foods well. Ground cereal, stewed fruits and vegetables that are mashed well, soups and juices are all options.
Enjoy yourself as you find new foods that your children enjoy. It is the most rewarding, fulfilling experience watching your children relish the food you make them, and seeing them grow.