As a parent, we all want our toddler to eat healthy foods that provide the nutrients they need for growth and development. However, getting a picky eater to try new foods can be a challenge. With my soon to be 4 year old daughter, it took a while to get her to branch out from loving chicken nuggets and grill cheese sandwiches, but once we found out how to get her to try new foods, its gotten a lot easier to simply just introduce new meals to her.
Sometimes children can get in the habit of eating improper meals most due to parents having to be on the go all the time. I can be easy to just pick up that bag of chips, or a quick juice for them to drink, but we are doing our children a disservice by doing this. Every once in a while cool, but it shouldn’t be an everyday thing. For us, we partly was guilty of this, but it was in the form of giving our daughter fruit pouches and maybe some juice. She ended up loving them so much that she would prefer a pouch, or snacks over dinner. Once we saw that we started trying out some different thinks to get our growing child a proper, but health meal.
Here are five creative ways to encourage your toddler to eat a healthy diet:
- Get Them Involved in the Cooking Process
Toddlers love to help out in the kitchen, so why not make use of this eagerness to get them to try new foods? Let them choose a vegetable or fruit to add to a dish and have them help you prepare it. This way, they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and will be more likely to try the finished product.
- Use Fun and Colorful Plates and Utensils
Make mealtimes more appealing to your toddler by using colorful plates and utensils. You can even use cookie cutters to create fun shapes out of fruits and veggies. This will make mealtime more exciting, and your toddler will be more willing to try new foods.
- Make Healthy Snacks Accessible
Toddlers love to snack, so make sure you have plenty of healthy options on hand. Cut up fruits and veggies and keep them in the fridge for easy access. You can also make homemade granola bars or energy bites using healthy ingredients like oats and honey.
- Make Food Fun
Make mealtimes more fun by playing games like “eat the rainbow,” where your toddler has to eat foods of different colors. You can also have a picnic-style lunch on the living room floor or let them eat with their hands, making mealtime more enjoyable and less stressful.
- Lead by Example
Children learn by example, so make sure you’re eating a healthy diet too. Show your toddler that healthy foods are delicious by enjoying them yourself. Eat meals together as a family, and make healthy food choices the norm in your household.
In conclusion, getting a toddler to eat healthy can be a challenge, but there are ways to make mealtimes more enjoyable and less stressful. By involving them in the cooking process, using fun plates and utensils, making healthy snacks accessible, making food fun, and leading by example, you can encourage your toddler to eat a healthy diet that will support their growth and development.