The Benefits of Eating at the Table with Your Baby
When it comes to your baby’s nutrition, there’s a lot to consider. Between portion sizes and bottle weaning, it’s easy to forget about the setting of your baby’s mealtimes. However, where your baby eats is a huge part of how they grow and develop. Babies who spend their mealtimes at the table with the whole family—even if they’re eating something different—experience numerous developmental advantages. Read on to learn more about the benefits of eating at the table with your baby.
Create a Healthy Learning Environment
There are many things parents can do to help their babies learn, and creating a healthy learning environment is one of the most important. A happy, loving, and responsive environment encourages babies’ curiosity, communication, and other vital aspects of growth. The dinner table is an excellent place to foster such an environment; spending time with a happy, bonded family is wonderful for your baby’s development. When everyone eats together, you create a warm and welcoming setting that your baby can enjoy with every member of the family.
Teach Good Eating Habits
Babies learn a lot by watching their parents and others. When your baby sits at the dinner table with you, they get to experience multiple examples of good table manners and eating habits. Those curious little eyes will watch parents, siblings, and other dinner guests use utensils, drink from cups, chew politely, and more.
You can learn a lot from having your baby at the table, too. For example, one of the clearest signs that your child is ready to try spoon feeding is if they watch you eat and show interest in your utensils.
Keep Older Kids Involved
Older kids also experience the benefits of eating at the table with your baby. Older brothers and sisters—whether they’re still toddlers or are on their way to becoming young adults—are often eager to be involved with their younger siblings. Family meals are a great place for older siblings to safely and helpfully interact with the baby. Eating together allows older siblings to be good, informative examples of healthy and polite eating habits.
This is also a chance for older kids to be in the spotlight as they tell stories about their day. The more your family eats together at the table, the better your communication and relationships will be.
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