It's never too early to start teaching your child about healthy eating. The earlier you start, the more likely they'll be to develop healthy habits for life.
Here are ten tips for encouraging healthy eating in toddlers.
1. Make sure they're getting enough calories
2. Offer a variety of vegetables
3. Add fruits to any meal
4. Avoid sugary drinks or snacks
5. Limit screen time
6. Encourage outdoor playtime
7. Have a family dinner
8. Serve smaller portions of food
9. Serve food at room temperature
10. Serve protein with every meal
Be a leader, not a dictator.
If you want your toddler to eat healthier, you need to be a leader and not a dictator. Toddlers are very smart and they want to please their parents. If you want your toddler to eat healthier, try making healthy food fun! You can do this by cutting their favorite food into shapes with cookie cutters, adding vegetables to their favorite soup or pasta dish, or by making them their favorite dessert with a healthier twist. For example, you can make apple pie using sugar-free syrup or make chocolate cake using applesauce instead of oil.
Offer vegetables before fruit.
Vegetables are a great way to start the meal. They are full of nutrients, and offer a different texture for the child to explore. If you have a picky eater, try adding vegetables to their favorite foods. For example, if they like macaroni and cheese, mix in some broccoli or cauliflower and see if they notice.
Make it fun!
Kids are always happier when they're having fun. So why not make healthy eating fun for them? For example, you can make a game out of picking out vegetables to eat. You can also give them a choice of two different vegetables or fruits to choose from. Kids are more likely to eat healthy snacks if you offer them a variety of choices.
Get them involved in the process.
Involve your toddler in the process of preparing food. Let them help you wash and cut vegetables, or measure ingredients. This will make them more interested in what they are eating. They may even try new foods if you let them help make it!
Be a good role model.
If you want your toddler to eat healthy, you need to lead by example. Eat a balanced diet yourself and offer nutritious snacks to your toddler. This will show them that healthy food is delicious. If you don't want to give your toddler something you are eating, try giving them something similar. For example, if you want your toddler to eat a banana, peel one for them and cut it in half.