The title of this post might sound challenging, or be seen by some as impossible. For me it’s just that. Encouraging my toddler to eat healthy, and eat something other than biscuits, crisps and beige food is proving some what of a challenge. We’ve had weeks and weeks where she won’t eat anything I cook for her, please tell me I’m not the only one? I’m fed up with food going to waste or being chucked across the kitchen floor.
Having read that 1 in 3 children aged 2 – 11 years old are over weight, which is really worrying considering that more money is being pumped into diabetes and obesity than our police and fire service, we need to do something about this. I’ve come to realise that I need to change my tactics when it comes to food, and work out ways for getting her to eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner when we’re at home.
There are many simple ways that I can do this and move her away from those pesky malted milk biscuits. Having read some of the top tips from Families Online, here are 5 things that I will be putting into practice.
I can’t emphasize this enough. I noticed that our toddler wasn’t eating when I just sat her in the highchair and let her get on with it. However once I started sitting down with her to have lunch at 11am, and we ate at the same time, I found that she ate more of her meal. This also means I’m spending less of the day preparing food, as we are both having our lunch at the same time (even though it is 11am).
Let them decide
This is something I find quite hard to handle as I hate food wastage. But all toddlers are experimenting with food, and they may not want everything that’s on their plate. As part of getting our daughter to eat more I’ve started to offer her a range of food on a tray plate which she likes. I also find it a good way to quickly see what she has and hasn’t eaten.
As much as I say that our daughter can’t have a treat until she’s finished her main course, I need to stop doing it. As adults we don’t always finish our dinner, yet we still have a pudding. I need to put the same into practice for our toddler, and serve up fruit and yogurts after the main course. It’s not just about ice cream for dessert.
Introduce new foods
I really wish that we had stuck at baby-led weaning, however I was so desperate to get her off the boob quickly I resorted to spoon feeding and imposing food on her. So now we’re in a position where I need to introduce new foods at a later stage, this is fine, but I’m going to do it slowly, so that she has a plate of food that she’s familiar with and also new foods too. I also find that meal planning is a brilliant way to help do this.
This one I was really surprised about, and couldn’t quite believe that I was actually doing it. I found that adding a small sprinkle of sugar to my daughter’s strawberries encouraged her to eat them. I know that this might sound wrong to some people, but at least she’s getting some fruit on top of that malted milk biscuit.
So those are my top tips for trying to encourage our daughter to eat healthily, there are so many more tips that are included in this brilliant infographic put together by Families Online.
I hope that this has provided support and inspiration for anyone struggling to get their child or toddler to eat healthy. Will you be putting any of these tips into practice, or do you have any other tips to get your child to eat their greens?
This is a collaborative post with Families Online.