As your baby begins to eat solid food, he or she is passing a milestone toward independence. This gives you a chance to introduce healthy eating habits, setting up your child for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Food tastes form early in life and then tend to persist. For example, how much salt a person wants is set in infancy and early childhood. High salt intake leads to high blood pressure. So when parents add salt to their baby’s foods they increase the risk of high blood pressure down the road.
A taste for super sweet food also seems to start early. Children who early on learn to love highly processed, low fiber, high sugar foods are at risk for obesity, and all the problems that go with it, including heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers. When children start out enjoying fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins that are low in saturated fats, they reap rewards for the rest of their lives.