— -- Parents today are bombarded with confusing, and sometimes even harmful, information when it comes to nutrition for their children. Nutritional guidelines are constantly changing, and parents don't know who to trust for medically-sound advice that works.
Dr. Tanya Altmann, a practicing pediatrician, spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and mother of three young boys, has observed many parents at a loss about what and how to feed their babies and young children.
In her new book, "What to Feed Your Baby," Altmann has created a safe and simple plan to help kids develop a healthy relationship with food.
Altmann has several tips for parents to help prevent childhood obesity.
Use a puree machine to whip up foundation foods for babies
"The good news is you can skip the baby food aisle," the California-based pediatrician said on "Good Morning America" today. "It's often healthier and less expensive to make baby food at home and a pureeing machine can be your best friend."
At 6 months, Altmann says parents can start introducing foods like eggs, yogurt (which provides infants with calcium, protein and vitamin D), and avocados, which contain healthy fat vital for brain and heart development, as well as potassium and fiber.
It can take kids at least 10 tries to really like a food
"It can take a child 10 to 12 times for a child to accept new food, so you want to keep showing it to them, show them that you eat it too and let them help prepare it," she explained on introducing fruits and veggies into the diets of toddlers ages 1 to 2 years old. "Throw veggies in to make smoothies, you can make cute shapes out of fruit and you can steam and cut veggies into tiny pieces to dip into hummus and other healthy items."
How you can prevent children from developing a sweet tooth
"Avoid juice and other sweet-tasting beverages," Altmann said. "Get her used to the taste of plain water at this age. Keep giving her sips of plain water and she'll grow up to love the taste of plain water."
Her book outlines crucial advice for parents on how to develop the best practices for feeding young children and infants. She includes research on food allergies and provides detailed tips and recipes to help train young taste buds to develop healthy choices.
"Following my plan at any age will help your kids develop a healthy relationship with food, love good nutrition and avoid weight issues later on in life," she said on "GMA."
"What to Feed Your Baby" is available now.