Eating healthy is something we all at least aspire to, but sometimes it can be difficult to get the kids onside. Children are generally seduced by the more “fun” foods such as cakes, ice lollies, and sweets, and struggle to get quite so excited about broccoli and beetroot…. can you blame them? Aside from the taste differences in sweets and vegetables, toddlers don’t yet grasp the concept of what’s healthy and what’s not or the benefits or otherwise from different types of food.
Yet those formative years can be crucial in shaping lifelong eating habits. To have a balanced diet, your child should be eating items from every food group on a regular basis – if they get used to enjoying fruits, vegetables, dairy, fats, carbohydrates and protein now, it’s something they’ll carry with them for a long time to come.
So, finding ways for your child to begin experiencing new foods is important. Having your child smell, touch and try new foods, going outside to pick some fruit from a tree, or letting them help with the meal prep, is a great way if getting them more interested in healthy eating. It’s also helpful to explore cooking new foods in different ways. For example, your toddler may dislike cauliflower, but enjoys cauliflower rice or cauliflower pizza crust. Adding fruits and vegetables to a smoothie is another great way if sneaking in a few healthy foods into your toddler’s diet. Try using ingredients like plain Greek yoghurt, strawberries, bananas, and spinach.
One of the best ways to get your child more interested in eating and trying new healthy foods is to make the food look bright and fun. Why not get creative? Sticks of carrot can be great swords, pieces of broccoli enormous trees, grapes glittering jewels. Another great way to help handle any lingering resistance at mealtimes is to establish a positive routine. Some eating time music might help do the trick – choose the songs together before sitting at the table. Funky Giraffe to a great line in personalised bibs that toddlers can actually look forward to putting on – it can be an amazing thing to see the power that a first name and a cute picture can generate. And where a big ideas, favourite songs and personalised bibs still aren’t quite enough, there’s always the old choo-choo train technique.
Alternatively, consider getting you child to eat healthy one small step at a time by adding a new food to their meal every few days. For example, if your child is getting used to eating peanut butter and jam, try almond butter instead, sub carrots for celery sticks, or ham for turkey. This way you aren’t overwhelming your child with new options as gently provide a smoother transition into new foods.
Getting your children to eat healthy is one of the hardest tasks you can do as a parent, Clearspring have some very nice treats yet very tasty, this way it will be a lot easier to get your children hooked on this.
Trying out all of these different methods is a fun way for you to learn and grow with your toddler. Although adding new and healthy foods into their diet may be a bit of a struggle at first, it will be well worth it in the end.
This is a guest post