Feeding Routines for Happy Infants

Technically a newborn becomes an infant after reaching the age of one month. The baby remains one until one year old when he or she technically becomes a toddler.
This first year of life is crucial as the way you treat the infant can really affect how he or she will psychologically and physically develop as well as influence the baby's relationship with food.

One important thing is to not force a child of this age to eat. You should never expect him or her to finish a bottle or an entire job of baby food. Putting pressure on a baby causes both emotional and physical discomfort. The pain of overeating for an infant is due to undeveloped organs.

You should also never shame a baby into eating or make him or her think that eating is all about 'control.' This could result in a personality that becomes anxious, obsessive and a future over-eater. Many babies that feel controlled around mealtime rituals become anorexics or bulimics.

Another routine that can never be established early enough is eating at the same time every day. This type of habit tends to 'take hold' as part of your developing baby's instincts and also last well into maturity. It prevents snacking and overeating.

You should try to avoid buying baby foods that contain additives, coloring agents and preservatives. If you must buy commercial baby food rather than make your own then be sure to read the labels. You also want to avoid addicting baby to foods that contain MSG, sugar and too much salt. These additives make food seem so delicious that it will be very hard for you to get your baby to eat things that are less attractive but truly nutritious such as pureed broccoli or yams.

The same thing goes for sugar. The baby who eats chocolate pudding will prefer that over peaches or bananas for dessert. Shunning foods is too easy for an infant' sugar and salt are so addicting they will throw big tantrums to get it.

If you want your baby to develop a positive attitude towards mealtime then it is also a good idea to make it seem more sociable and exciting by talking to the baby about the food and how great it is to share mealtime together. This will make the baby look forward to eating with the family.