For Mothers of Infants
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THTM #3: Teaching colors
(Infant feeding 6-8 months)
What is the key message?
- Introduce fruits and vegetables to baby a few weeks after baby adjusts to cereal.
Who should receive this message?
- Parents of babies less than six months old.
How can this message be used?
Advance preparation: Gather sample paint chip cards from a paint/hardware store. Select a rainbow of colors, or cut multi-colored construction paper into 3 X 5 inch cards.
Ask parents to:
- Pick a color that says something about how you feel about eating vegetables. (Allow less than a minute for their selection. You want them to feel rushed so they project their feelings into the color and they don’t have time to rationalize their responses.)
- Next, pick a color that says something about how you feel about eating fruit? (Share responses.)
- How do you want your child to feel about eating fruits and vegetables?
- What successes have you had getting your other child to try vegetables? (Skip this question if parent has no other children.)
- What can parents do to make babies—and children—love vegetables and fruit?
- How can your child have even healthier eating habits than you? Sample responses:
- Offer fruits and vegetables often.
- Eat them often so your child sees that you enjoy them.
- Experiment until you find veggies and fruits that you do like or fun ways of eating them.
- Don’t stop serving them if your child appears to dislike them. (Babies who spit out food may just be playful, not expressing preference. It often takes 10-15 exposures for a child to accept a new food.)
- How would your life and health be better if you loved fruits and vegetables? How would you feel about yourself? Sample responses:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Feel more in control.
- Feel proud that you are taking care of your body.
- Feel confident that you are providing a good example for your children.
- Feel you are doing the best you can to protect future health.
- Enjoy smooth skin, shiny hair and a slim body.
- How will your child’s life be better if they learn to love fruits and vegetables now?
- How will you feel if your child learns to love fruits and vegetables?
- What fruit or vegetable will you try this week?
- What fruit or vegetable do you plan to offer first?
- What are you excited for your baby to eat?