Tips & Tricks
Baby and food: the calm before the storm
aurélie d'hulst — mar 19, 2019
Choosing food with your child, touching it, letting him help you to cook it… stimulating his five senses and teaching him how to eat healthy today and tomorrow!
There are at least 3 good reasons to choose homemade food.
Parents with busy days know it well: it is not easy to combine a work life and good food. Yet, with a little bit of work, a little bit of time and a lot of fun, cooking different types of food is a mission you can complete! And it is essential for the development of your baby.
What if, despite your crazy routine, you take up the challenge of giving the taste of what’s good and healthy to your little ones?
Choosing homemade food as from the early age is understanding where food is coming from and being taught about well-eating. Is a child thinking that fishes are square-shaped, breaded and boneless a myth? After all, children do know what a fish looks like, they have seen them in books and at the aquarium. But do they really make the connection between the frozen stick and the animal? Not always! Besides, many of them think that chicken is boneless or that the taste of a strawberry yoghourt is better than the fruit itself. An article from Slate was already talking about this phenomenon by calling it the “frozen-plastic” generation. Used to eat processed food from an early age, today’s children sometimes don’t make the connection between what’s in their plate and where it comes from. You can be sure that, if these kids had seen their dad stir what’s in the pot more often, they would have associated the nuggets with the farm animal and they would have understood earlier the need to eat healthy.
Industrial food gives feelings of too smooth savours and leaves us right away with a feeling of frustration… which makes us want another bite, again and again. Give a crisp to a child and you can be sure that he will eat the whole bag. It’s a vicious cycle which can lead to obesity. According to La Ligue des familles, there is indeed an “increase in the prevalence of obesity in Belgium, among children as well as among adults. The overweight used to represent less than 5 % of the world population in the 1960s, they represent now 39 %. And 13 % of obese individuals”.
Giving homemade food to your little one is giving him the best foundations and getting him used to eating not too sweet and not too salty, from an early age. Because, when you are cooking, you can complement your dishes with spices and aromatic herbs, without any harmful additives, to please all palates. If they are used to these varied savours from an early age, the kids will develop the instinct of choosing fresh and healthy food once they are adults.
Giving a spoon of stewing risotto to your kid, making him bite into a piece of raw cauliflower while preparing the gratin or contemplate the simmering ratatouille… are many ways of encouraging him to eat tasty, authentic and savoury food.
The kitchen is therefore a place for pleasure and discovery. The child is involved in the process of preparing the meals: he is looking, touching, smelling raw foods, choosing seasonal veggies, enjoying their scent… and the exploring can start even before, at the market or in the fields: ramble with your little one in Granny’s garden, pick up chestnuts and mushrooms at the beginning of autumn, let him choose the vegetables at the market or encourage him to fill a bag of lentils at the bulk products store… so many activities which will become wonderful habits as from today and for the rest of your life!