A Parents article suggests that as much as 42% of children between 15 months and two years eat food from fast food restaurants daily. While this seems to be a high estimate the fact remains that the youngest in our society are taught that fast and easy is better than quality. The truth of the matter is that children eat the majority of their meals away from home. Childcare centers and preschools are often serving pre-frozen, pre-processed foods that have been reheated. Foods that are full of additives and preservatives. They are often served the same menus over and over again. It makes healthy eating at home more difficult.
There are a few tips that parents can implement to get their toddlers to eat healthier at home.
Serve a rainbow. Serve a variety of foods for your toddler to choose from. Whole foods rich in color are often the most rich in vitamins and minerals.
Only offer health choices. Parents have control over what is served. Toddlers determine how much and what to choose to eat. Offering healthy choices ensures that better choices are chosen.
Presentation is everything. Toddlers are all about fun and adventure. Serving their food in a fun interesting way helps them to be excited over mealtime. Foods cut in shapes or faces go a long way in making mealtime fun.
Let the independent toddlers feed themselves. Toddlers are learning how to do things on their own, let them. Encourage them by offering foods that they are able to eat without help. Let them dip their foods in sauces and use a spoon like a ‘big kid’ does.
Be patient not pushy. Most toddlers go through a phase where they like one type of food the most. Usually that ends fairly quickly and they are ready to move on to something new. Be patient while they make up their minds about the new, healthy food you introduce to them.
Toddlers are curious and inquisitive. Help your toddler understand the world around them. Let them help you when at the grocery store, encourage them when gardening, and talk to them about where their food comes from and why its important to eat healthy. The more informed they are the better choices they will make as they grow.
Five fun things to do in and around Lexington, KY July 29 – August 4, 2013
Summerfest at University of Kentucky’s Arboretum.
Headley-Whitney Wednesdays: Groovey Threads Tie-Dye.
Salvation Army Lemonaid Finale.
Creative Writing Retreat for grades 9-12 at The Carnegie Center.
4th Annual Horse Aid Live Combined Test and Dressage Show.