Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Shape Your Baby’s Diet

How early should you start introducing different foods to your child?

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Baby wearing chef hat.Is your child a picky eater? Does he or she dislike or spit out their vegetables when you try to feed them? Would you believe me if I told you that this could be due to what you ate during your pregnancy?

Recent studies have shown that in order to have your baby accept certain foods, you have to introduce different foods early in life…very early! When you eat during pregnancy, you are giving your baby the opportunity to try different foods. Your baby is exposed to the flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami) and smells of the mother’s diet through the amniotic fluid that surrounds it. So if you want your baby to be a fruit-and-vegetable-loving baby, start exposing them early!

In addition, aim to focus on these key nutrients during pregnancy to give yourself and your baby healthy foods that your baby will hopefully take a liking to!

Folic Acid

This is a B vitamin the helps prevent neural tube defects.

Good sources include:

  • leafy green vegetables
  • citrus fruits
  • dried beans and peas
  • fortified cereals

Calcium

You and your baby need this to help build strong bones and teeth.

Good sources include:

  • dairy products
  • fruit
  • fortified juices and breakfast cereals

Vitamin D

Also helps build strong bones and teeth.

Good sources include:

  • fatty fish (salmon, tuna)
  • fortified juices, milk, and dairy products

Protein

Promotes growth.

Good sources include:

  • lean meat
  • poultry
  • fish
  • eggs
  • dried beans and peas
  • tofu
  • dairy products
  • peanut butter

Iron

Prevents anemia. If you don’t get enough iron, you may become fatigued and more susceptible to infections.

Good sources include:

  • lean red meats
  • poultry
  • fish
  • iron-fortified cereals
  • nuts

Choosing these healthy foods to introduce to your baby during pregnancy will not only be beneficial to them then but can possibly have a lasting impact on their health as they grow later in life.

For more information on nutrition and pregnancy, be sure to check out my book, "Pregnancy Cooking and Nutrition for Dummies!"

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Nutrition , Protein , Vegetarian

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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