How to encourage your baby to eat

Nutritionist Jane Clarke shares 14 great ideas on feeding your baby to make sure they get a variety of healthy food. Started weaning? You’ll want to read this first. It’s exciting when your baby is ready to start eating solid food, but it can be daunting too. It’s a whole new chapter (and it can be a messy one too!). Make it easier on yourself with these great ideas from a pro.

Ge prepared with baby food recipes that you can easily make at home and take out and about with you too.

1. Prepare the same foods

You are far more likely to bring up a child who is a non-fussy eater if you give her the foods you have prepared for yourself, so she sees you eating them. She will want to copy the food she sees you putting in your mouth – and it’s far easier to prepare only one set of meals.

Get the recipe: Cooling banana yogurt pops make a sweet fix the whole family can eat together.

2. Make soup

Soups are a good way of getting your baby to eat a variety of foods, all in one bowl. And you can sneak all sorts of things in and make them disappear by blending.

3. Don’t be scared of giving your baby cheese

It can be introduced as soon as you progress from fruit and vegetable purées. One of the best is ricotta, which is only one step up from milk – it’s mild and creamy and they’ll love it.

4. Stick to full cream yogurts

Babies need these until they are at least 3 years old. Low fat yogurts can have a lot of added sugar, so make sure you read the labels.

5. Eat with your baby

From 10 months, she will want to feel she’s taking part in the same things as you, so sit with her as much as possible. If you find she’s not eating from her own plate or bowl, pop some things on your plate and allow her to take them off and mimic you. Shop and eat together. Involving children in food shopping helps to build their relationship with food. Let them peel vegetables and plant their own in the garden.

6. Buy a hand-held blender

They cost £20-£30 and you can pop it into a saucepan and make mash, soups and fruit purée with very little effort, and it saves on the washing up!

7. Scrub veg, rather than peeling

Much of a fruit’s goodness is under the peel, so scrub vegetables rather then peeling them. At 2-3 years old, children can explore whole fruits.