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10 ways to make a healthy “plate” for baby

As a parent, it is important to encourage healthy eating even from a very young age. Even when your child is still a baby, there are many ways to begin building healthy habits during mealtime!

10 easy MyPlate strategies for older babies

  1. Print off a My Plate from the internet and post in your kitchen. (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ )
  2. Talk at meal time about My Plate so this symbol becomes as familiar as cartoon figures.
  3. Use a divided plate made for young toddlers on the baby’s high chair so this becomes familiar.
  4. In casual conversation with your older baby at mealtimes, say fun things about your plate and what foods you eat.
  5. Use the divided plate as a “next step” for your baby as she becomes a toddler, like a “Rite of Passage” step.
  6. Have other young family members share in the discussion/decisions about what to eat for My Plate.
  7. Make sure the toy chest has “play” divided plates so the plate becomes an everyday item.
  8. If your older baby is at the grocery store with you, mention food in relation to the My Plate as you are putting food in your cart.
  9. Get ‘play” food so that your baby is familiar with fruits and vegetables.
  10. Snacks are important for young toddlers and include My Plate conversation at this time as well.

About the author:

Nancy Nevin-Folino is a licensed, registered dietitian and a fellow of the American Dietetic Association. She is board certified in pediatric nutrition (CSP). Nevin-Folino has received numerous professional awards and has published a number of papers and chapters on various nutrition topics, including several on neonatal nutrition and the nutritional needs of high-risk newborns. She has worked in the Dayton Children’s Regional Level III B Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 22 years.

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