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Healthy eating starts with you

Did you know? You’re a role model for your baby—what you eat and drink influences their choices.

2 mins to read Dec 28, 2021

It’s not just genes that you pass down to your baby—their eating habits are influenced by what and how they see you eating at family mealtimes. They’re She’s more likely to eat healthy foods, and be willing to try new foods, if they see you eating them. 

A healthy diet is all about eating enough of the nutrient-rich foods that your body needs—for example, grains, meat/fish/protein foods, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products—as well as drinking plenty of water, every day. Parents who lead by example when it comes to their food choices not only reap the benefits of their own balanced diet, but can feel encouraged by the positive impact it’s having on their baby’s diet too.  

Enjoy your food 

As well as demonstrating a link between the fruits, vegetables, snacks, and drinks in your diet and those in your baby’s diet, research has shown that they are more likely to give new foods a go if they see you enjoying them first. In fact, your impact as a role model is more effective than simply offering a new food to your baby. “Studies show that there is more chance a young child will try new foods if they see a parent or caregiver happily eating them, compared to if they are offered new foods without having a role model with them at the table,” explains Anne Dattilo, PhD, RD, Associate Director of Nutrition Science at Nestlé Infant Nutrition. “They are also less likely to accept healthy foods if their parent or caregiver demonstrates a dislike for them in front of the child.” 

So, be a positive role model now. Let your baby see the whole family enjoying mealtimes together to set her up for a future of healthy eating. 


  • Birch LL, Doub AE. Learning to eat: birth to age 2 y. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 99(3):723S-8S.  

  • Black MM, Aboud FE. Responsive feeding is embedded in a theoretical framework of responsive parenting. J Nutr 2011; 141(3):490-4.  

  • Blissett J, Fogel A. Intrinsic and extrinsic influences on children’s acceptance of new foods. Physiol Behav 2013; 121:89–95.  


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