At the young age of 4-6 months, we begin offering real food other than breast milk or formula to our children - this is where food education begins. We continuously provide our children new food, discover their current likes and dislikes by watching it get thrown onto the floor or into their mouths :) but continue to offer them different foods so that they gain exposure to new tastes and textures. 

As our children grow, so should our role as a parent and health role model, educating our child about healthy foods and better choices. Getting them involved in the grocery shopping and food prep is crucial for helping them understand what we like, eat, and why. 

Louisa is 2.5 y/o, and during this trip to the grocery store we looked at different peanut butters; I was looking for the best bang for our buck – who offered the biggest container, at the best price, with the least ingredients. This grocery store visit gave me the opportunity to talk colors with Louisa as she grabbed the red top, (Jif), brown top (nature’s promise), teal top (skippy), etc. and “a lot of words” and “a little bit of words” in the ingredient section. Long story short, Smucker’s Natural wins. 

Even if our children have no idea what we are talking about, talking out loud about these things with them is an excellent opportunity as parents to develop our own language and education on the topic and engage with our child about life subjects. 

This morning, she wanted cheddar bunnies and doughnuts for breakfast 😜 can’t be awesome all the time.

Carmen Sturniolo

PS. Opportunities like the above example are rare for most parents of a toddler. We often seen hurrying through the store, holding our child, trying to avoid a meltdown.