As a mom, you want your toddler to eat healthy foods so they can grow up strong and healthy. But getting them to actually eat those healthy foods can be a challenge. Here are 11 ways to get your toddler to eat healthily:
1. Let them help with meal prep
It can be challenging to get your kids to eat their vegetables. You’ve tried bribing them, hiding them in sauces, and even making Veggie Tots, but nothing seems to work. However, there may be a surprisingly simple solution: involving your kids in the cooking process.
When kids help prep meals, they’re more likely to be interested in what’s on their plate. They can wash fruits and vegetables, measure ingredients, or even just put the food on their plate. And the best part is that it doesn’t have to be a complex dish – even something as simple as making sandwiches can be a fun way to involve your toddler in meal prep.
The next time you’re in the kitchen, invite your little one to help out. It just might be the key to getting them excited about eating healthy food.
2. Let them play with their food
A lot of parents are hesitant to let their toddlers play with their food, but there are actually some benefits to this behaviour. For one thing, it can be a great way to get them to try new foods or eat more of the ones they already like.
It’s normal for toddlers to want to touch and explore their food before eating it. That’s why finger foods like carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or bite-sized pieces of chicken or cheese are great options. Just be sure to supervise closely to avoid any choking hazards.
A point to note is that it’s important to put a stop to this behaviour if they start making too much of a mess. But as long as they’re not wasting food, there’s no harm in letting them play with their food once in a while.
3. Let them choose
Toddlers can be picky eaters and they may refuse to eat their vegetables or insist on eating only chicken nuggets for every meal.
While it can be tempting to give in to their demands, doing so can lead to poor nutrition and picky eating habits that persist into adulthood.
However, there are ways to encourage healthy eating without sacrificing your child’s sense of control. For instance, you can let them choose between two healthy lunch options or allow them to select their own snacks from a list of healthy options.
By giving your toddler some degree of control over their meals, you can help them develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
4. Be a role model
It is no secret that children model their behaviour after their parents. If you want your child to eat healthily, you need to set an example! Eat your vegetables and fruits too so that your toddler knows that grown-ups like healthy foods too.
Teaching healthy eating habits at a young age will help your child develop a lifelong love of nutritious foods. And as an added bonus, eating together as a family can help to foster closeness and communication.
In addition to eating healthy foods yourself, talk about how good they make you feel. For example, explain how eating carrots helps you see better in the dark or how broccoli makes you grow big and strong!
So go ahead and put away the pizza and make yourself a salad–your toddler will be all the better for it!
5. Start small
We all want the best for our children. And that means feeding them a nutritious diet that will help them grow and develop properly.
However, if your toddler is used to eating junk food, making the switch to healthy eating can be a challenge. They may not be accustomed to the taste or texture of healthy foods and they may refuse to eat them all together.