Boost your baby’s brain through healthy eating

Mika Shino

Kids can be finicky eaters? You don’t say! But chef and mother Mika Shino wants to change this. Shino believes that if your baby is introduced to worldly flavors and spices at a young age, he or she will not only become more adventurous, healthy eaters later in life, but you’ll also be helping his or her crucial, early brain development. She translates this philosophy in her new, easy-to-make cookbook, “Smart Bites for Baby.”

How can having a more diverse diet promote a child’s brain development?

The mouth is the first place where the world becomes tangible. Everything goes into their mouths in order for infants to understand it — you name it, it goes in there. This is how they make connections. Providing diversity in a diet means providing the most variety in what your child learns and understands about the world, which will mean stimulation for the body and the brain. If a child is given the same food, of, say, mashed potatoes for every single meal, it would not be surprising that the brain stimulation as the nutritional intake would be quite poor.

Why is it important that parents push new, healthy foods versus masking them, like many
popular kids cookbooks advise?

Masking foods actually enables picky eating by pretending that certain foods should be hidden from view and avoided. If, from the very beginning of being introduced to foods, babies and toddlers are taught that healthy, whole and organic foods are delicious, they won’t doubt the deliciousness of those foods later on in life. Every child goes through a picky phase, but I believe kids will go back to accepting what they were initially introduced to.

Speaking of picky phases, do you have any tips for parents of picky eaters?

Just keep trying. If your child has suddenly turned against the broccoli that she loved until yesterday, just keep serving it. And remember: If parents can adopt a healthy approach to eating from the very start, it often curbs the severity of the fussy period.

The main thing is to have patience and not show frustration. You don’t want your child to associate eating with something negative. A fussy phase is just that — a phase.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.