Baby Food Meal Plans Aren't Really Simple
You want to feed your baby healthy baby food, but what exactly does that mean? Though you might have a few tried-and-true foods that your baby enjoys, such as the ever-popular bananas and sweet potatoes (which are still great), branching out and providing baby with a bit of variety can actually be the healthiest thing you can do.
The Basics Of Palate-Training 101
Keeping healthy baby food bland and boring is actually keeping your baby from experiencing the joy of food exploration that can lead to a future of good eating habits. Tina Ruggiero, MS, RD, LD advises parents that, “The first year of life is when the palate is trained.” Her advice to new parents is to follow these three tips:
- Choose colorful foods
- Look for those that are created from fresh, organic ingredients
- Introduce new flavors consistently
Studies show that babies who are fed a wide assortment of vegetables in the early stages of life are more likely to “try, accept, and like new vegetables.” This is due in part to the fact that food preferences develop very early in life and “getting babies off to a good start with healthy nutrition [has] lifelong benefits.”
Craving Something Different As They Grow
As your baby grows, and especially around the 8-month mark, the desire for variety in their food will kick in. If you’ve been palate training from an early age, this desire might hit sooner. Mixing up the foods you give baby now is a great way to satisfy their cravings and lead them to future independent exploration.
Just a sample of the different varieties and textures that can expand the palate include:
- Mango, Coconut & Chia
- Lentils & Rainbow Carrots with Thyme
- Zucchini & Peas with Brown Rice & Mint
- Lamb with Potatoes, Spinach & Rosemary
- Salmon with Sweet Potato, Orange & Ginger
For a variety of foods like this, and others that can satisfy the need for variety in your growing baby, try our meal plans for 6-9 Month-olds or 9 Month +. They provide you with healthy baby food that has all of the textures, flavors, and colors that are vital for development. By developing the palate now, you’ll create a positive relationship with food that will continue to expand as they grow.