I don’t know about you, but I had a crazy hard time getting my toddler to eat, not to mention eat healthy. She lived off goldfish and pretzels. The only reason I wasn’t crazy about this is because she loved V8 V-Fusion Juices; that way I at least knew she was getting her recommended fruits and veggies each day. But I stumbled upon an article about how to get your toddler to eat healthy food. You can check out the full article here, but here are a few of the highlights:
– Get the Kids Involved: Let your toddler help with menu planning and writing the shopping list. Ask him to hold the grocery list at the store. Let him help make choices about what to buy… apples or oranges?
– Encourage Your Kitchen Helpers: Let him help wash lettuce or measure the flour for a cake.
– Have Fun With It: Arrange veggies on a plate to look like a face. Make pancakes into shapes or cut toast into shapes. Offer yogurt as a dip.
– Take a Field Trip: Take your toddler apple picking at an orchard or berry picking at a berry farm. Or plant your own fruits and veggies and let him harvest them himself.
– Watch the Juice: Limit juice intake to encourage eating other foods. Make sure the juice you do offer is 100% juice and not a “juice drink’.
– Blend and Bake: Get your toddler involved in making smoothies; try some fresh or frozen fruit, milk or frozen yogurt, and fruit juice. How about baking some muffins? Add some blueberries to a basic muffin mix.
– Don’t Be Too Sneaky: Don’t hide “hidden” ingredients. Your toddler may be upset about it later.
– Make It Count: Be aware of your toddler’s nutritional needs. They are pretty basic (and small) at this point. Just make sure to cover the basics, then he can continue to live on pretzels and goldfish.
– Make the Fast Food Switch: Occasional fast food won’t hurt, but try to switch out fries for apple slices or try a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a cheeseburger.
– Be a Good Role Model: Remember that your toddler likes to mimic you, so practice what you preach! If you want your toddler to eat healthy, you need to eat healthy too! (Plus it’s good for you.)
– Be Positive: Don’t force your toddler to eat. It’s likely that the more you and your toddler fuss about food, the harder it will be to get him to eat. Offer praise when your toddler does eat healthy food.