4 Tips For Getting Your Toddler To Eat Healthy Food
"Please, just try a little bit, I promise you will like it."
This is the conversation happening daily at mealtime in many homes. It is not easy to convince a toddler to eat the healthy food you prepare for them. Their little personalities and likes/dislikes develop at such a young age. One day they will eat anything and the next all they want is PB&J on white bread. We beg, plead, coax, and discipline with little to no results. Meal time turns into a frustrating experience and everyone leaves the table grumpy and sad.
I don't have all the answers for convincing your child to eat healthy, but I can give you a good starting point. It's simple really, "Practice what you Preach!" That's right, leading by example is the best starting point to convince a toddler to choose a carrot over a processed fish stick.
I was reminded of this little lesson yesterday. While I was doing my weekly grocery shopping I noticed a dad and son wandering the fruit & vegetable section. The dad was asking the boy "What's next on the list?" The boy would point out a food he thought looked good, then the dad would lift up the boy to grab the vegetable and place it in his toddler sized cart. What a great example of leading by example. Because the father included the boy in choosing their food, when they get home the boy will probably be pumped to try the different foods he chose to put in his cart.
To be a good role model, you must make healthy changes in your eating and shopping habits. This may require better time management on your part because involving your child will make food preparation slower. But the rewards are worth it. When a child sees your eating choices, they are apt to follow your lead. It's in their nature.
4 Easy Steps to Leading By Example:
1. Prepare & eat healthy food
2. Shop smart
Only purchase the good stuff, skip the junk
3. Limit eating out
You can make healthier food at home than you will find in any restaurant (or, obviously, fast food joint)
4. Involve your children in their food
Allow them to help choose what you're going to eat that week
Take them grocery shopping and involve them in choosing the food (stick to the healthy sections of the store, avoid the processed sugar laden junk)
Let them help you prepare the meals
Making these adjustments to your habits will take time and practice. You will not see a change in your kidshealth all at once, but keep at it and I'm sure you will find your child making the healthier choice. Meal time can become a happy time again!
Share your thoughts below or tell us how you are a good role model for your child by commenting below.
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Love and Happiness,
Krystal Bernier, Holistic Nutritionist