"If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow."
Rachel Carson

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?

Open:

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?
Dig:
  • 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.)
Connect:
  • 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?
Act:
  • 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?

  

Emotion-Based Messages