Baby’s mealtimes: what can you do to ensure everything goes smoothly?
Until now fed with your breast milk or using a bottle, baby has not been part of your family meals, did not sit down to eat, and did not have any cutlery or a cup. Between 6 and 9 months, not only will what they eat change, but they will also grow up because that is how you are going to start treating them.
How can you get them to eat at the table and avoid tantrums?
Eat well at the table!
When they are small, babies copy their parents. So if they see you sitting at the table to eat, they will want to do the same. The table should be set up properly with an age-appropriate chair, special cutlery and an easy-to-hold cup.
To start with, make sure they are hungry, because if not, they will not want to be at the table as they are too young to see a meal as a social thing.
And finally, make what they are eating appealing. Make their plate fun, add colour to it, arrange their vegetables into a face, talk about the “green chips” (the green beans), make the carrots appetising, organise their plates by colour (white meal, green meal, etc.), and of course make sure that you give baby the foods they need and in a form appropriate to their age.
Sitting at the table is enjoyable
Mealtimes are a fun and happy time for baby. And that’s how you should approach them.
Mealtimes are happy and sociable. There are a thousand and one ways to help them eat: the famous “aeroplane” technique, talking food, aubergines with superpowers, fish that makes you smart, the fact that they can also have fun feeding their parents, plates filled with food that they can eat with their fingers, giving them a glass of water 30 minutes before the meal to whet their appetite... and plenty of other hints and tips to make mealtimes enjoyable!
Before the age of 3, there is no point asking your child to sit up straight at the table and not to move around. They won’t be capable of it. After this age, you can explain all about good manners1!
1 Comment élever les enfants les plus heureux du monde, by Jessica-Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandhal, Edition JC Lattes, 2017