Have you ever thought of teaching your child to prefer healthy foods during solid food introduction? The concept is simple but often overlooked. I’ve sat down and talked with Clancy Harrison, an author who just recently launched a great resource on introducing baby to foods: the Feeding Baby Cookbook.
First, check out her advice for 5 steps to Food Sensory Play, then scroll down to the bottom to read more about her book launch and all of the fun prizes you can win!
Most parents, including myself, will spend countless hours teaching letters, numbers, colors, and animals to their infants. Do not misunderstand; I am the first to give my children an early start to their education, even if it means listening to classical musical during pregnancy. Teaching flavor preference is as important as teaching letters and numbers. Teaching an infant to prefer healthy foods full of texture, color and aroma sets the foundation for healthy eating habits to last a lifetime, and will minimize picky eating later in life.
Food Sensory Play is using all of the infant’s senses to explore food. An infant may refuse a particular food if they do not like the way it looks, feels or smells. Introducing food to children away from the table without the expectation to eat it will increase the familiarity of the food and minimize future food refusal.
Fill an infant sock with the leaves of an aromatic herb such as oregano, rosemary, basil, or thyme. Tie the open of the sock closed. Massage with your fingers to release the aroma from the herb. Allow the infant play with the sock. Rub the sock or even fresh herbs on their arms and legs. Talk about the smell. Follow up with a vegetable, meat or fruit with the herb finely diced or pureed into the food. A favorite in my family was banana and basil puree.
After a visit to the farmer’s market, I often lay a clean blanket on the floor and allow my child, who is able to sit alone, to explore the fresh produce. Popular vegetables to use for sensory play include: ginger root, celery, carrots, beets, turnips, asparagus, green beans, potatoes, and a garlic bulb. Simply clean and dry the produce. Let the child explore the produce on its own terms but watch carefully. They will touch it, smell it and even teeth it.
Get creative- thing of the variety within the same family of produce. A pear can be served whole, sliced, mashed, diced. Let your child explore a pear prepared different ways. On a tray provide pear puree, long and thin pear strips and a very ripe (soft) pear. Let them explore the pears under close supervision. Again, the infant will taste the food.
The temperature of food will influence your child’s preference for a particular food. Encourage your child to explore the same food but at different temperatures. A pineapple can be cut thinly, placed on a wooden craft stick and frozen. Bonus: Frozen pineapple is a great teething tool. Finely dice fresh pineapple at room temperature and either grill or oven roast pineapple. Under supervision allow your child to explore all three pineapple with different temperatures (frozen, room temperature, warm-not hot) at the same time. Talk about the feel of the different pineapples. If the child tastes the fruit (they will), talk about the different taste due to temperature differences.
Self-Feeding = Sensory Play
Exploring food with fingers and hands is completely different than playing with food. New foods are better accepted if the child is allowed to touch, taste, and smell the food on their own without the pressure to eat it. A child who is able to self-feed at his or her own pace is more likely to accept the food and even prefer it.
Feeding Baby Release Party & National Giveaway
2 Giveaways, $2000 in Prizes & 30 Winners
About Feeding Baby:
“Your baby deserves the best in life- food is no exception! Feeding Baby is the ultimate guide to preparing and feeding wholesome foods for your infant, with helpful nutritional tips, picky eating solutions, and with over 80 recipes. Once you discover how easy and affordable it is to make baby food at home, you’ll take comfort in knowing your child is receiving the best nutrition possible.”
Feeding Baby Book Signings & Events:
- September 15-October Book Signing Giveaway (#2): Click HERE
- September 20, 2014 Barnes & Nobles Hickory, NC 6:00 PM
- September 27, 2014 Vive Health and Fitness Kingston, Pa 8 AM-12 PM (All proceeds support Candy’s Place)
- October 4, 2014, Hoyt Library Kingston, PA 10 AM- Informal Lecture: Ending Picky Eating & Raising an Eager Eater sponsored by Moms Holistic Network.
- October 15, 2014 Barnes & Nobles Wilkes Barre, Pa 7:00 PM
- October 19, 2014 Member Product MarketPlace Exhibitors @ FNCE Atlanta, Georgia Booth #9
1 Winner: Vitamix 5200 Blender $450.00
1 Winner: Babycook by Beaba $150.00
9 Winners: Feeding Baby Books $180.00
1 Winner: Fairhaven Health and The Naked Nursing Tank Bundle: $142.00
1 Winner: Infant Book Bundle $100.00
Feeding Baby by Clancy Cash Harrison
Dinnertime Survival Guide by Sally Kuzemchak
Oh, Yes You Can Breastfeed Twins! by April Rudat
Getting to the Yum by Dr. Karen Le Billon
I will Breastfeed Anywhere by Jennifer Saleem
Milkies in the Morning by Jennifer Saleem
Scentsy Gift Card $100
NuRoo Baby Bundle: $85.00
1 Winner: Buttons Diapers Gift Set $58.00
1 Winner Kiddo Feedo Freezer Trays (2) $40.00