If you’re a parent to a toddler like I am, you probably worry if he or she is getting enough nutrients based on what they eat. Most toddlers are extremely picky, so it’s inevitable that you’ll worry about their diet and healthy eating habits, especially at a time that’s pivotal for their growing bodies and minds.
I recently read an article on Parenting.com that discusses simple tricks to help incorporate a healthier diet into the daily lives of picky eaters. Here’s some important advice I extracted from the article that I’m starting to use with Rainbow to ensure she receives more nutrients:
Make it a bonding experience.
You’ve all seen the endless amount of recipes on Pinterest, so why not choose one that’s healthy and fun to make with your little one? Toddlers love making a mess – and cooking isn’t an exception. Picking a recipe that’s rich in nutrients and kid-friendly so they can help you prep (like one of my favorites, strawberry-granola froyo bites) is always a good idea.
Work with their taste buds.
It’s important to take note of what your child does like and try to mix it in with something healthy. This way, your toddler will view what’s on his or her plate in a positive way and they’ll get nutrients from it. For example, if your toddler loves chicken nuggets, try baking them with whole-grain bread crumbs. Or, if you’ve got a sweet tooth in the house like Rainbow, make a treat like chocolate-covered strawberries so that your snack is healthy too!
Be a role model.
Let’s face it, little ones love to copy their parents. So, if they don’t see you eating anything healthy, why should they? It’s important to set a good example for your children when it comes to establishing a healthy lifestyle. Make it a point to teach your kids that eating well is a good thing and that you do it too. Plus, it never hurts to add some extra veggies to your own diet.
A few of Rainbow’s favorite snacks that I would recommend having your toddler try are: Mish Mash organic baby food to go, baby carrots with hummus, protein plates from Starbucks, fresh berries, rice cakes with almond butter, and clementines (or “cutie” oranges, as Rainbow calls them).
Especially for growing young ones, eating nutrient-rich foods is beneficial for developing a strong body and mind. And, of course, obtaining proper nutrients in your diet is essential if you’re expecting… stay tuned for more posts next month!