You'll never have to teach your child to like sweets.
Infants have a natural liking for sweetness because breast milk is sweet. You'll do your child a big favour by waiting as long as possible before introducing sweets, cakes and raisins. This might sound boring, but sweets and sugar are completely unnecessary. Further reading: 20 helpful tips about feeding infants
Apple boats and banana coins
When it's time for a snack, you can give your child unsweetened crackers or a piece of cucumber, apple or other fruit. Small children enjoy eating apple or pear "boats" or banana "coins". They're easy to hold and eat. Raisins are a popular snack to give to small children, but they get stuck in their teeth and have a very high sugar content.
Avoid sugary snacks
There is a surprisingly large amount of sugar in fruit yoghurt, yoghurt drinks, breakfast flakes, juices, rice snacks and many ready-to-eat children's snacks. Instead of fruit yoghurt, try giving your child natural yoghurt with fruit or berries mixed into it. You can buy breakfast flakes and muesli that are low in sugar.
Dessert – yes please!
Dessert is recommended after lunch and dinner. But that doesn't mean ice cream, cakes, or chocolate pudding. Mashed fruits or berries taste great and are packed with vitamins. Serve a smoothie or fruit salad for dessert instead of ice cream and other sugary foods. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, which is crucial at this age. Fruit, berries and unsweetened fruit purée taste good with iron-enriched porridge. Hide the jam.
Drink water with meals
Nothing beats water as a mealtime drink, and it is also the best thirst quencher. Water can be introduced alongside breast milk or formula from the age of 7 months.
The longer you wait before giving your child sugar, the better it is for their teeth. You probably won't be able to avoid sweets for ever. But when you eventually do start offering sweets, limit them to special occasions. The same applies to soft drinks, juice and other sweet drinks.
Desserts are good for kids - provides they're healthy Fruit and berries are ideal, but avoid chocolate pudding and ice cream. And small children shouldn't eat salty snacks like crisps.