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Feeding & Nutrition

Not all babies are the same, so it should come as no surprise that whatever your little one finds yummy may differ from other newborns. Huggies answers your questions and provides some food for thought when it comes to feeding your baby.


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Picky eaters

The daily war

The mere sight of peas evokes a screaming match from Ann's otherwise well-behaved five-year-old daughter Abbie.

"I've tried everything to get her to at least take a bite. There are only a few things that she does like and they are not very nutritious," says Ann.

It's an all-too-familiar scene. At one time in our lives, all of us were probably picky eaters — refusing to eat anything but toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It frustrated our parents. How were we going to get all the minerals and vitamins our growing bodies needed?

So what does a parent do with a pre-schooler who refuses to eat fruits or vegetables and claims the only food that isn't "gross" is peanut butter sandwiches? Do you force or bribe them to finish what is on their plate? How do you avoid a food fight with your five-year-old?

Most experts agree it is not worth rolling out the heavy artillery to get your kids to eat what you think they should. Here are some tips to keep peace at the dinner table.

Let your child see you eating healthy foods

Jeffrey Hampl, a registered dietician and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, believes the solution is for parents to keep "undesired" food out of the house in the first place.

"Practice what you preach and set a good example for healthy eating," he says.

Know that it's OK when your child doesn't like something

Not everyone — adults included — likes spinach. But you need to find a nutritional equivalent that your child will eat. "Parents are in a position to buy and cook healthy foods. If they don't want any, respect that choice, but don't make junk food an alternative option," says Hampl, who is also an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University.

It's easier for children to reach nutritional requirements than many parents think. If they won't eat vegetables, fruits have a similar amount of fiber and vitamins. If kids won't drink milk, offer yogurt, cheese or broccoli.

Keep introducing new foods

Place one-or two-bite portions of the new food on your child's plate, alongside more familiar foods, at each meal. Do not comment on whether or not they eat the new food. After several trials, the food will not seem so new and they may decide to try it.

"I would gently encourage your child to try something rather than fight over it. If they don't want to, so be it. As they grow older they will develop their own tastes. Tastes change over time," says Lawrence Balter, child psychologist, professor of applied psychology at New York University and editor of Parenthood in America: An Encyclopedia.

Don't force it

Don't force your child to finish his plate — six hours later, he'll still be sitting there.

"Parents should not make a child finish what is on their plate. Time at the table depends on age and circumstances: toddlers can eat in a minute and be allowed to run off and play. It is not wise to create power struggles over dining. If a child truly doesn't want to eat something, there is no value in making a big fuss about it. If they are not hungry now, but want to eat at an inconvenient time later, then provide them with something quick and nutritious," says Balter.

If you are worried your children are not getting their required nutrients — for the most part you don't have to. "'One-food jags' typically last from 10 days to two weeks. Keep track of what your child eats for a few weeks, and you will probably see that the child is not missing out on any nutrients in the long-term," says Hampl.

"Nobody really knows why some children limit themselves. It is usually the case with pre-schoolers. One likely reason is that they want sameness because it is reassuring," says Balter.

Rule out any medical problems

Being a picky eater early in life does not mean the child will develop eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia later. "Almost all kids go through a picky eating phase. It's a normal part of development," says Hampl.

But parents should pay attention to some warning signs that a child's eating habits are dangerous. If a child is not physically or socially active or if there is a total lack of eating, parents should worry. Trust your instincts. And make regular checkups with a doctor to make sure your child is growing normally.

Breastfeeding Baby

Breast-feeding Strike: Why Do Babies Refuse to Nurse?

Why would a baby go on a breast-feeding strike?

Many factors can trigger a breast-feeding strike — when a baby refuses to breast-feed for a period of time after breast-feeding well for months. Typically, the baby is trying to tell you that something isn't quite right.

What happens during a breast-feeding strike

During a breast-feeding strike, your baby might appear happy to go to your breast — but then act disinterested or start to cry. Sometimes a breast-feeding strike happens suddenly. In other cases, a strike begins gradually.

What causes a breast-feeding strike

Common causes of a breast-feeding strike include:

  • Pain or discomfort. Teething, thrush or a cold sore can cause mouth pain during breast-feeding, and an ear infection can cause pain during sucking. An injury or soreness from an immunization might cause discomfort in a certain breast-feeding position.
  • Illness. A cold or stuffy nose can make it difficult for your baby to breathe during breast-feeding.
  • Stress or distraction. Overstimulation, delayed feedings or a long separation from you might cause fussiness and difficulty nursing. A strong reaction from you to being bitten during breast-feeding might have the same effect. Sometimes a baby is simply too distracted to breast-feed.
  • Unusual scents or tastes. Changes in your smell due to a new soap, perfume, lotion or deodorant might cause your baby to lose interest in breast-feeding. Changes in the taste of breast milk — triggered by factors such as the food you eat, your period or getting pregnant again — also can trigger a breast-feeding strike.
  • Reduced milk supply. Supplementing with formula or using a pacifier too much might reduce your milk supply. Sometimes reduced milk supply is a sign of pregnancy.

Keep in mind that if your baby goes on a breast-feeding strike, it doesn't necessarily mean that he or she is ready to wean. Breast-feeding strikes are often short-lived.

How to manage a breast-feeding strike

A breast-feeding strike can be uncomfortable for you and your baby. You might feel rejected and frustrated. Don't feel guilty, though — it's not your fault. Try to be patient as you manage this change in your baby's eating habits. To prevent engorgement and maintain your milk supply, pump milk on the same schedule your baby used to breast-feed. You can feed the expressed milk to your baby with a spoon, dropper or bottle.

You might also:

  • Keep trying.
    Express milk onto your nipple or your baby's mouth to encourage him or her to nurse. If your baby is frustrated, stop and try again later.
  • Change positions.
    Try different breast-feeding positions. If your baby is congested, hold him or her in an upright position during breast-feeding. It might also help to suction your baby's nose before feedings.
  • Deal with distractions.
    Try feeding your baby in a dark, quiet room with no distractions. Or consider the opposite approach — turn your body so that your baby can face the activity.
  • Cuddle your baby.
    Skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby might renew your baby's interest in breast-feeding.
  • Address teething issues.
    If your baby is teething, rub his or her gums with a cool washcloth or your finger before a feeding. If your baby bites you during breast-feeding, try not to react too strongly. Simply slip your finger into your baby's mouth to quickly break the suction.
  • Evaluate changes in your routine.
    Think about any changes in your routine that might be upsetting your baby. Are you stressed? Are you taking any new medications? Has your diet changed? Are you using a new type of perfume or fragranced soap? Could you be pregnant? Focus on taking good care of yourself.

If a breast-feeding strike lasts more than a few days, your baby has fewer wet diapers than usual or you're concerned about your baby's difficulty breast-feeding, consult your baby's doctor.

 ©1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use.

This article was from Mayo Clinic and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image: Getty


How Feeding Your Baby Vegetables Can Create a Picky Eater


We all know that kid who only eats peanut butter sandwiches on white bread cut into triangles ... and has been refusing anything different for the past seven years. Sure, he's sweet, but that's the kid moms dread having over for play dates after school. So how do you avoid raising that kid, the picky eating kid? One trick is actually surprisingly easy: Skip the baby food that mixes flavors.

The idea is that babies have to develop a palette, and blending flavors keeps them from learning to like (or even just put up with) the taste of individual vegetables. 

The science to support this theory was presented by researchers from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research at a conference last week, but it's not the first time the story has been told: A study in the journal Appetite also offered up research to back this idea up.

It's the same reason why breastfeeding could produce less fussy eaters when babies grow up -- that exposure to subtle flavors helps them appreciate the taste of anything that's not just mush.

So the supermarket strategy is this: Skip the stuff that mashes different flavors together, and buy (or make!) the baby food that's strictly one-vegetable-only. Easy, right?

Also, shoot for getting a range of different fruits and veggies, and trick your baby into eating as many different flavors as possible (while you still can). Then, if everything goes as planned, they'll be inhaling broccoli by the bunch by the time they're old enough to chew.

Or something like that.

It's an easy switch to make, and one that certainly won't hurt anybody. Nobody really wants to deal with a picky eater -- so please, for moms everywhere, try this trick.

And then, a mere 10 years from now when you have a culinary savant on your hands, YOU get to take all the credit, thank you very much.

What kind of food do you usually feed your baby?

This article was written by Caroline Olney from CafeMom and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image: Getty


Toss the Cookies its Healthy Munching Time

By the time a child is one or two, he or she is most likely ready to explore the world. This can mean walking for the first time, showing new feelings and emotions, or branching out at meal times.

Because food preferences are established early on, this is a great time to tap into that sense of "exploration" by presenting your child with a wide range of snack, meal and drink choices. To make sure your child eats a healthy, balanced diet, start by applying the same basic guidelines you use for your own healthy eating to your child's meals and snacks.

Specifically, this means eating a balance of breads, cereal, rice and pasta; vegetables and fruit; dairy products; meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian sources of protein, such as beans and legumes; and healthy forms of fat.

The bread box. In the bread and cereal category, seek out foods that will fit in your child's hand (also known as finger foods), and that are soft enough to eat without the risk of choking. Good examples include cooked whole-wheat pasta, soft whole-grain crackers, whole-wheat bagels or bread, cooked breakfast cereal such as oatmeal or cooked rice.

The vegetable bin. When it comes to vegetables, cooked vegetables tend to be safer for young children than raw vegetables because they are softer. You can prepare canned, frozen, or fresh vegetables. Try to feed your child as many different colors of the rainbow as possible, a concept promoted by the 5-A-Day campaign. This means choosing foods from the five colors — yellow/orange, red, blue/purple, green and white. Examples include sweet potato and corn in the yellow/orange category, beets in the red category, eggplant in the blue/purple category, green beans or peas in the green category, and cauliflower in the white category.

The fruit bowl. Most toddlers love fruit and the possibilities here are endless, depending on the season and/or what's available in your supermarket. If you have time to cut and prepare fresh fruit, try strawberries, melon, pineapple, or cut-up grapes. If you are purchasing packaged fruit, try individual servings of applesauce, which are now available in a wide variety of flavors. Most kids also love watermelon on a hot sunny day and if they are thirsty, 100-percent fruit juices are a good choice. Just be mindful of letting your child fill up on juice and remember that whole fruit is a better choice nutritionally than juice.

The dairy case. Dairy products are a good source of calcium and children ages 1 to 3 require 500 mg of calcium per day, according to the American Medical Association. Good choices include cheese, yogurt, milk or even cottage cheese. Many types of cheese and yogurt are now available in individual servings, whether it's cheese sticks or tubes of yogurt. Although these may cost more than buying large containers of the product, the gimmick can often work to your advantage! Other non-dairy, kid-friendly sources of calcium include tofu, salmon, or calcium-fortified beverages, such as orange juice.

Protein choices. Good sources of protein for toddlers include lean meat, chicken or turkey, fish, eggs, tofu or cooked beans. If your child seems skittish of beans or lentils, try preparing them in soup or chili. Although the occasional cut-up hot dog or bologna sandwich probably won't hurt your child, do your best to steer clear of foods with added preservatives, salt or chemicals.

All about fat. Up to the age of two, children need plenty of fat in their diet to ensure proper brain development. (This explains why about half the calories in breast milk and infant formula come from fat.) After the age of two, children need about 30-percent of their calories from fat, according to the American Medical Association. This may mean switching from whole milk to low-fat milk, preparing lower-fat cuts of meat or poultry, or steaming, baking or broiling your food.

The cookie jar. Occasional sweets are okay, but if your child eats candy, cookies or dessert on a regular basis, this may dull his or her taste for healthier foods.

If you have questions relating to your child's nutrition, be sure to check with your pediatrician or other medical professional for expert advice.

By: Barbara C. Bourassa


Bye-Bye, Bottle

Many pediatricians recommend weaning babies from bottle to cup sometime between 12 and 18 months. Extended sucking on bottles (or pacifiers or thumbs) could gradually change the shape of a toddler’s mouth, leading to problems with his dental arch or with speech. And while sippy cups have valves, bottles don’t — that means formula, milk or juice can continually dribble out, pooling around teeth and causing decay.

Making the move

To move from bottle to cup, first invite your baby to play with the cup and try it out when she’s not really hungry or thirsty, so she’s not frantic if she doesn’t figure it out right away. After she gets the hang of it, gradually substitute one bottle feeding at a time over the course of a week or more. End with the most beloved bottle, which is usually the one before bedtime or nap.

Bump up snuggle time

Make sure to give your baby lots of close physical contact and hugging when those final bottles are being replaced, so it’s only the bottle she’s missing, not your time or cuddling. And as with bottles, don’t let your child take a sippy cup of formula or breast milk to bed.

Shop around for sippy cups

If your child is really resistant to picking up a cup, try a cup with a different design or character. You can even let her pick a special cup herself. It may turn out that a different type of valve, spout or handles will work better for her.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Baby's First Year. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble


Celebrating the Highs and Lows of Nursing

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

Breastfeeding for a brand new mom can be a wonderful, exciting, bonding and also daunting and painful experience. During all three of my pregnancies I had planned to nurse for as long as both the baby and I were happy.

The breastfeeding process is part instinct, part, What on earth am I supposed to do here? I was more in the latter camp with my first baby, and hit a lot of bumps along the way. I met with a lot of lactation consultants and went through many toe-curling nursing sessions. The difficult part was that once I got through the pain of one feeding, I knew it wasn't long before I had to do it again.

Pain should not be part of the nursing experience, and it indicated to me that something was off. Eventually, my baby and I worked it out and we got it. And when we got it, it was great. Luckily, the process of getting there for babies No. 2 and No. 3 was much faster and it became such a special time for me and the kids.

I can recall many a night, just me and the baby in the glider, seemingly the only people in the world who were awake. Nursing baby No. 3 was definitely different, though, because we had the older kids' schedules to contend with.

I have never been a public nurser, much preferring to do it in the comfort of my home with my nursing pillow, my blanket, book, bottle of water, TV remote and whatever else I needed. But with baby No. 3, our busy schedules-plus the older kids' sports and activities-didn't allow that same kind of luxury.

I got used to nursing in cars, on soccer fields, in restaurants, dressing rooms-wherever it was needed. My nursing cover was my constant companion. Now that I have stopped nursing and rely on bottle feeding, I do recognize how convenient it was to have a food source ready and waiting at all times.

While I certainly don't miss the night wakings every two hours for those months and months, I do miss the closeness and warmth that those nursing sessions provided. It definitely was a special bonding time for mom and baby.

Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

Lessons Learned: Highs and Lows of Parenting

Relishing the First Sleepless Three Months


Different Baby Foods to Consider Feeding Your Baby

By: Melanie Edwards

When babies start to eat solid foods, we traditionally feed them puréed vegetables and fruits. As they progress from those first baby foods and move on to more complex food textures, we typically feed them the same foods, but in various combinations, and bigger amounts. We do slowly introduce them to new flavors, but for the most part, we stick with those fruits and vegetables.

Something done in my culture is to start feeding babies traditional dishes early-on, so they can get accustomed to the rich flavors. As soon as babies start being able to mash food with their gums and beginner teeth, we begin introducing some of these foods. Typically, we mash the food up a bit before serving to baby, though we don’t purée the food.Taking into account that all babies are different and that you should exercise discretion in knowing whether or not your baby is ready, you can consider feeding your baby some of these foods:

  • Yellow rice: Rice is huge in my culture – we eat it just about every day – so, of course, it’s one of the first foods we introduce to our babies. Though white rice is fine too, yellow rice will have more flavors and allows you to easily mix in vegetables and meat.
  • Beans: Similar to rice, Puerto Ricans eat beans a lot too, and they’re a great source of protein and fiber! Since beans are soft, you can easily mash them up and mix with the gravy they’re cooked in for feeding to Baby.
  • Yuca: A root vegetable, yuca is not often a vegetable parents think of for babies. But, boiled and mashed with some seasoning, it makes for a nice dish babies can eat.
  • Plantains: A cousin to bananas, plantains are delicious and a customary part of Caribbean cuisine. Whether green or ripe, plantains can be mixed in with some meat for a quick meal for Baby, though ripe is sweeter.
  • Stewed chicken: Some chicken stewed with potatoes and carrots in a broth is a great way to get baby used to a mixture of flavors!


Making Your Own Baby Food

By:Andrea Howe

This is the third baby I’ve made homemade baby food for. By now, even 5 years span between children, I have the routine down pat and could do it with my eyes closed. That statement is not intended as a boast or brag, but to let you know just how simple it can be to prepare your baby’s food at home. Many, including myself, feed baby food right out of the jar, and that’s great! But if you ever had any desire to make your own food or questions on what to do, or were simply just curious about the process, I thought I’d share with you how I go about making my homemade baby food. The routine, is simple enough, and when done in large batches, needs to only be done every few weeks. Here’s how I tackle the job of making homemade baby food.

Make It In Batches

First thing’s first, and that is to plan to make several different kinds of purees at once, as I truly find that it is so much easier to spend a couple of hours making several batches every few weeks, then to make a batch here and there every few days. This day I made carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, pears and apples, enough to last at least 3-4 weeks.

Prep All At Once

Many of the foods require peeling of the skins, so I do all my prep work in advance and just add foods to the pile, instead of washing, peeling, cutting, cooking and pureeing one by one. This way I can get my peeling done, then throw the peeler in the wash, chop, then wash cutting board and knife, and so on. It makes clean up much easier.

Centralize Your Mess

Making your own baby food can and will be messy, so try to centralize your messes by peeling over a paper towel you can scoop up and throw in the trash, and washing as you go.

Cooking It Up - Do What Works For You!

Once all your prep work is complete, start cooking. Now everyone will have a different opinion and method of cooking so do what you think is best and works for you. I microwave all my foods in a bit of water, but some people prefer to steam or even roast over microwaving. For me, microwaving makes the whole process more manageable, and even if a bit more nutrients are lost, they’re still chock full of goodness.

Time To Puree

After my first batch is done cooking, I put another batch to cook and in the mean time I start pureeing that first set of cooked food. I’ve ever only used my blender with excellent results, so don’t feel like you need a fancy baby food making machine or even a food processor. I add the cooking liquid to the food with additional water if need be to get a nice pureed consistency. Between each batch I just do a quick rinse of the blender and start again!

Not All Purees Are The Same

You’ll notice that your purees will all have a different texture and consistency and that’s okay, you just mainly want them all to be nice and smooth. Sweet potatoes always seem to be thicker than carrots for instance, which hold a ton of water. I just add water, breast milk or even formula to the food when serving if it needs to be watered down a bit. You’ll know that if baby gags a bit then it’s probably too thick.

The Ice Cube Method

I have always used the ice cube method to store my baby food. Each cube filled to the top should weigh exactly 1 oz. making it super easy to figure out portions when feeding baby. Just place your purees in the trays and freeze for a few hours.

Frozen Solid

Once frozen, twist a bit to loosen up the cubes and place them in a freezer bag for storage. You may need to run a little bit of water over the back of the trays to help them loosen up a bit.

Precision At Its Finest

Proof that one frozen cube of food does in fact equal 1 perfect ounce. Currently at 6 months and 17+ pounds I feed Hayden just 1 cube 2-3 times a day, with a bit of baby cereal. As he gets older he’ll eat as many as 4 cubes of food per sitting if he is anything like my other two!

Storing Baby Food

As I said, I store in freezer bags and label the date I made the cubes as well as the contents. While it’s safe to store baby food for up to 3-6 months, I usually go through them much quicker than that so I never have to worry about the food losing nutrients. When Hayden is done with purees and onto finger foods, if I have any left over I’ll add to his pastas or rice or whatever type of food I can mix it into.

Making The Time

So If I’m spending 3+ hours making baby food, how do I squeeze it in? Well I usually start as soon as I get the kids off to school in the morning and have Hayden hang out with me in the kitchen. Then he can see me, I can talk to him and hand him toys and such. Once he starts getting fussy, I put him down for his nap and then finish up. I’ll admit that I find it’s easiest to just focus on the baby food making and not try to multitask though.

So What Exactly Do You Do?

You’re probably asking yourself how I actually feed the food to him once it’s frozen? Easy! I just take a cube out, pop it in a microwave safe bowl and heat up for 30-45 seconds and then serve. I may be biased, but I really think he loves my homemade stuff the most :)

Don't Limit Yourself - It Doesn't Have To Be All Or Nothing

We feed Hayden the homemade food just while we’re at home. For on-the-go we feed him store bought baby food and I’m great with that! We keep enough store bought food on hand so I don’t have to be stressed if I’m getting low on homemade food and don’t have time to make a new batch. I always find that it’s easier to relax and not to feel like it’s all or nothing. A bit of homemade and a bit of store bought works out just fine for us.

Find A Resource You Love

There are so many baby food cookbooks out there, as well as websites and blogs dedicated to just baby food making. Find one you love and trust and stick with that as your go-to guide for cooking times and charts as to what to feed to baby when. I personally love the book Super Baby Food and it’s my main resource when I’m unsure how to cook something.

Get The Family Involved

The job of prepping, cooking and feeding can be taking on by the whole family! Do it on the weekends when the big kids are home or your spouse can help. And feeding baby should be something everyone in the family should take part in. We all love to see the looks of joy (and even shock!) when we feed Hayden a new food or get him to try different textures. Happy baby food making and let me know if you have any questions!


How to (Maybe, Possibly, Hopefully) Raise a Non-Picky Eater

By: Michelle Horton

The fact that my now-3-year-old son isn’t a picky eater may very well be accidental. It’s entirely possible that he’s lulling us into a false sense of accomplishment, only to have a future sibling who turns everything we know on its head — refusing to eat anything but jelly sandwiches three times per day. (Sibling high-five.)

But…maybe not.

There were very specific measures we took to try and ensure that our son Noah is more of an adventurous eater than the no-food-can-be-touching-my-God-get-this-green-stuff-away-from-me eater. And regardless of the outcome, I think they’re all steps toward healthy eating habits — which is worth discussing, regardless. (So much so that I’m risking the chances of jinxing myself, and Noah will wake up in the morning and refuse to eat anything with color.)

So here goes. 10 things I did that (maybe, possibly, hopefully) helped Noah not be super picky with his food:

1. We never limited his exposure to different foods
Of course we followed the recommended introduction charts when he started eating solids, but we never just assumed that he wouldn’t like something — and we still don’t today.

We also don’t stick to the "children’s menu" when we go to restaurants, considering they’re typically (always?) so limiting. I often offer to split my meal with him now that he’s old enough, although he sometimes opts for the more classic children’s menu choice. (But he always chooses a vegetable without me asking — so score.)

2. We have a "just try it" rule in the house
I don’t know if it’s because we’ve been enforcing this rule from the beginning or just because he’s inherently more adventurous with his food choices, but the "just try it" rule seems to help. He knows that he just has to take a bite and then, if he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to eat more. But more often than not, he finds out that he actually does like it. We try to be real cool about it so it doesn’t feel like a strict "rule," but rather just a normal part of life.

(Hint: The book Green Eggs and Ham helps.)

3. If he doesn’t like something, we don’t push it
Luckily my son gets enough nutrients, so I know that a day of mousy eating isn’t the end of the world. We don’t have a Clean Plate Club in our house, mostly because I’d rather he listen to his body’s cues than arbitrary portion sizes. But there really are foods that he doesn’t like — tomatoes, for one — and he’s entitled to his opinions.

4. If he doesn’t like something, that doesn’t mean it disappears
Just because he doesn’t like tomatoes and avocados doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still get casually offered tomatoes and avocados. One day he might say "yes."

5. We let him know that his taste buds will change
And now he’ll say, "I’ll like it one day when I’m bigger, Mommy," after trying something unappetizing. And I know that he will probably like it eventually — considering his dislike of Apple Cider donuts, avocados, and cinnamon-coating anything goes against human nature. In fact, his taste buds have changed already — such as with a formerly forbidden food known as Pinnochie (gnocchi), which is now a dinnertime favorite. (Because, hello, gnocchi.) I like him to know that it’s OK to change his mind without feeling like he has to stubbornly cling to his food aversions.

6. He’s involved in the food process
If we’re at the store shopping for dinner, he gets to pick out the vegetable for the night. I involve him in the meal planning along the way, too, which I think helps him feel more involved with his food. And he loves helping Mommy and Daddy cook — so much that he wants to own a restaurant when he grows up. (Note that he wants to simply own the restaurant; Daddy is still going to be the head chef.)

7. We strive for COLOR
Noah knows that his plate should be as colorful as possible — which encourages him to reach for nutrient-packed bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, squash, and other brightly hued side dishes.

8. We don’t make him a special "kids" meal
If he doesn’t like what we’re having for dinner, then he doesn’t have to eat dinner.

9. We eat healthy foods, too
Noah sees Mom and Dad with veggies on our plates (that we actually eat) and reasonable portions. We choose salads over fries at restaurants — not because we have to, but because salads are yummy. We make the food choices that we’d like him to make, and we’re openly adventurous about trying new foods. Kids are looking to us for a sense of what’s normal, so modeling a healthy attitude starts with what we’re putting in our mouths, not with the words that are coming out.

10. We’re consistent
I know that the other shoe might drop any day (tomorrow, even) and he could turn into a mac-and-cheese-around-the-clock type of a kid. And if that’s true, I’ll know that it isn’t my fault — yet I’ll still continue doing exactly what I’ve been doing. Only because I think it’s the healthiest approach for the healthiest attitude toward food.


Protecting Our Carpet from a Messy Eating Baby

By: Melanie Edwards

When babies begin to self-feed, whether with finger foods or learning to eat with a spoon, it can be a very messy time! Babies drop their spoons (constantly) or purposely throw them down. Babies miss their mouth and accidentally get food all over themselves, the chair, and the floor. It’s natural, of course; learning to eat on your own can be tough! It’s also tough on our floors and particularly difficult when you have carpet. As parents, how can we let our babies go through this phase of learning to self-feed, and yet keep our floors clean?

Our dining area is carpeted. Even worse, it’s that cream-color carpet. I have nightmares about baby boy eating spaghetti on his own. But, I realize that I have to let him try because otherwise he’ll never learn to eat by himself. This means I have to let him try all kinds of food, not just finger foods.

We began with him trying to eat simple finger foods that wouldn’t make too much of a mess: cheese, crackers, cut-up chicken, and other foods that he could easily pick up with his fingers or a fork. The problem was that whenever we fed him rice, spaghetti, soup, or other more messy foods, he also wanted to dig into the bowl.

Realizing that we couldn’t avoid the issue much longer and that it was good and necessary for him to try to feed himself the messier foods, we had to figure something out. My husband found a no-longer-in-use plastic office floor mat at his job that they let him bring home. We put the floor mat underneath one of our dining chairs and that is our baby boy’s designated chair. The floor mat covers a wide area, which is perfect.

Baby boy can now eat finger foods or with a spoon without us having to worry so much. When food now falls on the floor, we simply wipe it up! Our carpet is clean and baby boy is happy feeling more like a big boy eating by himself.

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Join Huggies Rewards

By clicking SIGN UP you are agreeing to the Huggies® Rewards Terms & Conditions.

Join today and receive 50 free points! You'll also start earning Reward Points for all of your purchases. Points earned can be used towards gift cards, free diapers and wipes, and so much more!

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Rewards History
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What are Rewards Codes?

15-character codes on participating Huggies® Products that you can use to earn Huggies® Rewards points!

Where can I find them?




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What are Rewards Offer Codes?

Offer Codes are limited-time offers to earn bonus points. They're 8 digits long and must be submitted at the same time as a participating product Rewards Code.

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