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Baby Steps Head Off a Fussy Eater

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Getting kids to try new foods can become a daily showdown. One promising approach: expose babies early on to varied tastes and textures.

Researchers in Brisbane, Australia, found that food experiences when just 14 months old can influence the eating habits that children will exhibit at age 3. And introducing a variety of fruits and vegetables and other types of foods early on is key to a better diet quality later on.

The result: A child who eats more than just chicken fingers and cheese sticks.

For the purpose of the study, the children were exposed to 55 different food items. The researchers found that having a great number of vegetables, fruits and other foods at age 14 months predicted more varied food preferences, higher food intake and less fussiness when the children's eating habits were re-evaluated at 3.7 years of age.

Babies can start eating solid food at about 6 months. Once they reach this milestone, don't hesitate to offer a wide variety of healthy foods in a variety of textures. Ask your pediatrician for guidelines if you're unsure of the best foods or how to prepare them.

Your baby may already show a preference for one or two foods, but don't let his or her responses deter you -- keep introducing others. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it can take up to 15 tries before a child actually accepts a new food.

Also, try different cooking methods. For instance, one day steam carrots. Another day, mash them. Offer different shapes, too, from shreds to slivers. A healthy dip can also make eating more fun.

Keep in mind that young children model parents' behavior so you should enjoy the same wide variety of foods as you serve them.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has detailed information on how to help picky eaters become healthy eaters.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=740513

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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