Food is such a mundane activity for a lot of us – we often forget its real importance and value in our life. Quite commonly, we prepare baby food and put our best efforts into their feeding, while gulping our own lunch made in a hurry.
Although this may seem like a logical way of life with an infant, the reality is that babies learn best by watching (and doing) exactly what we do. If we eat, chances are that they’ll eat, too.
Instead of rushing through your day while spending the afternoon on two lunches rather than one (preparing lunch the night before is what works in our house, so it’s ready to go for lunchtime), try taking the time to eat at the table with your baby.
Here are some great reasons to do that!
- Monkey see, monkey do
If you’re trying to raise a good eater, there’s nothing better and more efficient than showing your little one what needs to be done at the table. If the children see you enjoying your food with a great appetite, they’ll do the same. This way, babies learn to chew and swallow, so give them a good example!
- Creating a social, eating and bonding environment
Mealtime doesn’t only exist to stuff food into our mouth, avoid hunger. It’s a place and time to socialize at the family dining table, and that’s exactly what you could be teaching your baby to do. Create a friendly atmosphere to be the foundation for family gatherings. Talk to your baby about your day, plans, ideas, whatever comes to your mind. In a short few years, you’ll appreciate the bond you’ve created during lunchtime!
- Exposing the baby to new tastes and textures
If the little one sees something new on your plate, there’s a good chance she’ll attempt to steal some of your yummies. Now is a great time to develop the child’s taste buds and food preferences. Remember: the baby knows only what you show her. She doesn’t know the concept of ice cream, chocolate, French fries and crackers – not yet. If you serve something like spinach consistently enough, she’ll develop the taste for it.
- Making healthier food choices for your family
If you’re cooking knowing that your little one may be having a taste (or a full meal) of what you’re making, it will (hopefully!) drive you to make more responsible, better choices for your whole family. It’s a great thing for everyone, and you may even lose some of that post-pregnancy weight while eating actually healthy stuff!
- Time management
It’s a lot less time consuming to eat together than for the baby to eat, and then wait in the playpen while you’re eating. Save yourself some time for different activities by serving the meals together and use the remaining time to go for a walk! Your day will feel so much better!