It’s the story of our lives when it comes to parenting – we all want what is best for our babies! Sometimes…most of the time…we are much more careful about the choices that we make for our children than we are about ourselves. We do research, check labels, ask their doctors, take advice, and carefully plan everything that going on, near, or into their little bodies. Maybe we should take a little lesson from them for a change. Here are 10 lessons about eating that we can learn from baby.
Keep it simple
When we first start introducing our babies to foods, we do so one at a time. One food in it’s whole, simple, natural form. We choose things that are easy to digest without anything else added in. There’s a reason that baby food is just one food blended with water – food in it’s simplest natural form is how it was meant to be eaten.
Fruits and vegetables come first
We start with fruits and vegetables when feeding our babies, and we should do the same thing for ourselves. Need a snack? Grab a fruit or vegetable. Getting hangry? Grab a fruit or vegetable. Packing lunch? Grab a fruit or vegetable. Start with getting enough fruits and vegetables in each day and build your diet from there.
Most parents try to limit their children’s sugar intake. You can visibly see the highs and lows that sugar creates in their little bodies, so it’s easy to think that it’s something that should be avoided. Just because you can’t see the blood sugar spikes and crashes that happen in an adult body, doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.
It all goes back to natural, whole, clean nutrition. That’s how we want to feed our little ones. Their food tends to come out of the refrigerator and be made up of ingredients that we can pronounce. Your food should be the same way. Always look at what is in your food. If you don’t know what it’s made of, do you really want to eat it frequently?
Get enough water
When you transition a baby from a liquid diet to a solid diet, it is important to get enough water into his or her day. You can tell from the little grunts and tears around potty time when a little one is dehydrated! It is just as hard on an adult’s tummy to digest food without enough liquid. Make sure to get enough water into your system everyday.
Eat when you’re hungry
Babies eat all day, everyday…or at least it seems that way when you are a busy parent who has to stop for snack breaks. When your little one is hungry, it doesn’t matter what he or she is doing. It is time to stop, take a break, and eat. Adults tend to schedule our food times into each day which leads to overeating because we go too long between meals. Try adding some healthy snacks into your day to curb hunger.
Stop eating when you are full
On the opposite side of the spectrum, babies stop eating before they are stuffed. When we first started feeding Peanut, his doctor told us to keep offering food until he stopped taking it. “He won’t overeat.” Babies don’t have a clear your plate mentality like we do. When they are full, they stop eating and just throw their food or paint with it instead. Maybe you shouldn’t do that…but you can always save food for later.
Try new foods
We try to introduce our babies to a wide variety of foods. It will supposedly help to keep them from growing into picky eaters, and also variety in the diet is healthy! As an adult, you should still be trying to introduce your body to new foods. Keep trying new things. Who knows? You may find a new favorite at some point.
Sit down and enjoy your food
Who else here is guilty of absent mindedly eating? We eat at our desks, in front of the tv, in the car, while we run errands. It seems like we are always on the go and mealtimes are no exception. Take a cue from baby. Sit down, settle in, and enjoy your food. You will not only appreciate your food more, you will probably eat more slowly and you will be less likely to overeat. Plus, it’s a great reason to sit down and relax for a bit!
Treats in moderation
I know that we all try to eat well and feed our babies well. That doesn’t mean that the occasional treat will hurt anyone. If I sit down to eat M&M’s in front of Peanut, I know for a fact that he will be climbing in my face wanting to share. There’s no harm in biting a couple in half and letting him have a treat. The same goes for any junk food. Have a little because it’s good, and it makes you happy! Just don’t sit down and eat right out of the bag of chips.
There you have it, 10 lessons about eating that we can learn from baby.
What do you think, parents? Do you often feed your children better than yourselves?
If you are looking for more tips on how to work healthy habits into your life, check out this post. It’s all about creating changes that make a healthy lifestyle.
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