Feeding a baby can be really challenging, and I can foresee in the very short months ahead how challenging feeding a toddler will become. This is why it's important to create positive experiences with food to allow babies and children to associate food with good thoughts.
As a new parent, but a not-so-new aunt, I remember with my nephew and niece, how much fun they would have preparing foods. From pressing the "on" button to mix up a smoothie, to simply mixing dry ingredients for a cake - kids really, and I mean, really enjoy it.
As a result of all that time spent building memories around food, my nephew and niece run to the table for mealtimes. As for me, my daughter doesn't walk just yet - but she makes a blowing sound when she's hungry and wants to eat - which tells me there's something to mealtime she looks forward to.
At home, we practice a mix of spoon feeding (on occasions) and baby-led weaning. Cleaning up is not so fun - but letting my baby dig in (literally), has helped her associate mealtimes with something fun and full of new discoveries. That moment at her one year-old birthday where she was reaching for strawberries to stuff them in her mouth as fast as possible, was priceless! And it's proof that something we're doing -so far- is working out.
That being said, let the food discoveries begin!
Sarah Hamdan Registered Dietitian.