Are you in search of recipes for toddlers for your picky eater? If you’re like most parents, you’re probably wondering when the drama will end when it comes to feeding your toddler with healthy food for kids. Thus, you find yourself turning the World Wide Web up-side-down in search of the magical toddler recipe that is both healthy and a winner at the dining table. Is there such a thing?
There are lots of healthy foods for kids, but the question is will your toddler want to eat it? And even if this healthy toddler snack was a hit at Ms. Emily’s kindergarten class, it does not guarantee that your little one will love it too. How does one feed a picky eater? The real clincher is that most toddlers are picky and once you've come to terms with that, life will be a whole lot easier. The challenge for us parents is to learn how to become creative “healthy food” marketers. Here are some tips how:
#1 Entice Your Toddler With Choices
Who would say “no” to options? Sometimes, it’s not that your kid does not like fruits but he simply does not like the pear that you have at home. If you have not yet discovered your toddler’s favourite fruit, be patient in exploring. Go ahead and get her into a pair of toddler sandals and take a stroll down the supermarket aisle together. Give her a chance to pick her snacks. Of course, not all snacks would be healthy for her but you can guide her through some healthy choices.
# 2 Fresh Juices and Shakes
I have yet to meet a child who doesn't like a good fruit juice or smoothie. The wonderful part of it all is that these are healthy. Fresh 100% juices are best; you can make them at home with a slow juicer. Be careful with artificially flavoured drinks on grocery shelves though because most of these contain lots of artificial sweeteners and should be consumed minimally (½ to ¾ cup per day only). Much like #1, find out which juices and fruits hit home run with your kid.
Here’s more. To up the healthiness perk, add an unnoticeable amount of tofu, or hard cooked egg whites, or ground flax seed (for omega3 and fibre) to your smoothie. Yum!
Here are some healthy smoothie recipes for toddlers to get you started.
# 3 Bake Healthy Snacks
Baked goodies with healthy ingredients like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, carrots, pineapples, zucchini, to name a few, are both yummy and nutrition-rich. To make the most of it, use whole wheat and bran for added fibre, and use yoghurt instead of butter to lessen trans fat.
# 4 Package It
Have a little fun with your food presentation and learn some “plating” for kids. Form a funny face out of slices of carrots, peas, and corn. Top his oatmeal with colourful fruits arranged like a sun or flower. Be creative. Healthy foods for kids need not be boring. Slice pieces of veggie, fruit and cheese and serve them barbecue style or string them like a necklace. Check out these healthy recipes for toddlers for creative ways to present kiddie snacks.
# 5 Snack Away
One source of stress among parents is that we expect our toddlers to eat like us adults. The thing is that they can’t and they won’t. First, after their growth spurt from being a baby to a toddler, they now have less need for food. A toddler aged 1 to 3 has a calorie requirement or 1,000 to 1,300. Not to mention, their stomachs are small. This leads us to the fact that it is normal for them to eat small. But we are concerned that they are very active and may need lots of energy. True. That is why they need to eat healthy foods for kids often but not necessarily in big amounts. Lots of snacking is the way to go.
If your toddler is allowed to open the fridge, a lot space on your shelf where healthy snacks are available within their reach. You can also prepare bite-sized sandwiches, diced fruits or fruit salad, biscuits topped with peanut butter or fruit jam and other healthy foods for kids.
# 6 Prepare the Food With Them
Kids like eating what they made or helped prepare. Look for some recipes for toddlers that you can prepare with them! Make it colourful and fun. They will be eating their creation long before it’s done.
# 7 Be A Role Model
Last but not least, show them that you also eat fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods for kids. If they have older brothers and sisters, they should also model this to them. Little ones will always imitate their mums and older siblings so this should encourage them to eat healthy food for kids too. They say you shouldn’t bribe your kids to eat the right food but perhaps a little psychologising will help. Tell them that eating green veggies makes them grow into a strong kid like their older brother, or they will be as fast as their favourite cartoon superhero, and there’s actually a lot of truth to that!