A blog in collaboration with Mothercare Malta
Hello mums and dads. We all know how difficult it can sometimes be to feed our children in our media prone environment. Some foods are labelled as bad for children and others come presented as amazing options. It is so tiring to find out what is really right or wrong for your child. Feeding ourselves and our children is one of the most basic human things we do. From the day our babies are born and handed over to us on the hospital bed to cherish, and love forever till they are old enough to feed themselves, we have to find what is suitable to feed them! So let’s now look at some popular Food Myths and with reputable research via case studies for toddlers in the US and central Europe, here are some we should ditch – and pronto!
All the eating products and the high chair you see in the photos are from Mothercare Malta
They make feeding Luna so much more playful and colourful!
Myth no 1: Fussy eaters should have special meals.
Don’t be a private chef! Consider serving meals buffet style and allowing your child to choose from a selection of nutritious foods or get them accustomed to what you eat and serve them a portion in their own small pretty plate.
Myth no 2: You should hide veggies in your kids’ food.
This will certainly provide extra nutrition but it will not make your kid aware of the benefits of vegetables. Instead, prepare and show them an array of freshly sliced and diced delicious vegetables. Show them a pizza with some vegetable toppings or rice with colourful vegetables and eat some in front of them and say “Yummy this is good!” Your child may be more willing to try and accept the foods because of your example. It may take time, but don’t give up.
Here is a list of recipes I downloaded with veggies in them for baby Luna.
To download some inspiring recipes from BBC Good Food CLICK HERE
Myth no 3: Kids should eat ALL the food in the plate
Eat it all till the very last bite – Wrong! Forcing food may reinforce negative food behavior and can lead to weight gain. Our role is to provide them with healthy foods to choose from, but as parents, we shouldn’t dictate how much of that food a child eats. According to Maggie Moon, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles, “As long as the options are healthy, giving kids the choice of which foods to select, and how much of them to eat, keeps them in tune with their natural hunger cues.”
Myth no 4: Kids’ food must be specifically Kid Friendly
Feed children the popular chicken nuggets and steamed broccoli instead of chips, and that’s what they will want. ultimately limits kids’ palates, Kathy Siegel, RD, a dietitian in the New York City area suggests that we seek recipes that are simple enough for parents and children to cook together. Our kids eat what we eat and when we cook together, they feel very involved and are more happy to eat what they assisted you to cook. I ask Luna to help me squeeze fresh orange juice and to eat her watermelon pieces once I slice them in front of her and eat with her too.
Myth no 5: Babies should eat mild foods only
Get them tasting lemons, pepper, curries and other flavours from the beginning! An emerging area of research is showing that infancy is the time that children are most open to accepting new flavours. Early in your child’s feeding routine, introduce as many new flavours as possible. If you are breastfeeding? Pretty much the same. Unless you or your baby has a known food allergy or other dietary restriction, you don’t need to limit what you eat—getting those tastes to your child via breast milk will help with food acceptance and make your life much easier. Luna has been tasting spicy foods and lemons and pepper since she was one year old.
This mug is a cute gift idea available at Mothercare Malta.
We love to tell daddy how much we love him!
Myth no 6: Eggs are not good for kids.
We DO NOT have to fear egg yolks. When the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans came out earlier this year, the years-old dietary cholesterol restriction of 300 mg daily was lifted. The yolk actually contains eyesight-boosting lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as brain-benefiting choline, and protein. So add the whole egg to an omelette and have fun with some recipes including eggs.
Myth no 7: Kids should eat frequently, every few hours feed them.
Not true. Children definitely need some snacks but not a lot. We must teach our children to develop healthy habits that will benefit them later in life. Again, show them your example. Do adults need snacks in between every single meal? I certainly don’t. Why should we train them to have useless high calorie intake? Kids will do fine on two maybe three small meals and maybe one healthy snack per day. If your child is hungry when mealtime hits, that is a good thing, as it teaches him or her to listen to his appetite and eat portions of food that are actually satisfying. Do not encourage the snacking habit but instead offer fruits and vegetables when kids ask for a snack,” If they’re really hungry, they’ll eat it!
Myth no 8: Kids need to have their fruit juiced.
Did you know that if you serve the whole fruit—you will get far more fiber for less calories and sugar? I just learnt that for example, for 95 calories, a medium apple contains 4.4 g of fiber and 19 g of sugar, while a cup of juice has 114 calories, 0.5 g of fiber, and 24 g of sugar. So give them the whole old fashioned apples and oranges and water melons as nature made them. It is the best thing you can feed your kids.
These are a few myths that I ve tackled today with my daughter in mind and I hope you have found this interesting. Thanks for your follow. Keep following my blogs here on my website and also on Facebook and Instagram.
Love and light to all
All the eating products and the high chair are from Mothercare Malta
Luna’s clothes: M & Co Malta
My clothes: M & Co Malta
Venue: Westin Dragonara, Malta
Makeup: Daniela Ebejer @ Melita Health & Beauty
Our Hair: Mixa’s Salon
Research assistant: Christine Agius Tellus
All Photography by Johan Mifsud