From picky eaters to food explorers, each child has their unique culinary preferences. Don’t worry, though! We’ve gathered some practical tips to help you foster healthy eating habits and make mealtimes enjoyable for your little ones.
- Embrace the Adventure: Toddlers are known for their curiosity, so turn mealtime into an exciting exploration. Introduce new foods regularly and more than once, offering a range of flavors, colors, and textures. Make it a sensory experience by allowing them to touch, smell, and even play with their food. Encourage their adventurous spirit, and who knows, your little one might surprise you by gobbling up broccoli or sweet potatoes!
- Be a Role Model: Children often mimic their parents’ behaviors, so it’s’ good to lead by example. Let your toddler witness your love for diverse foods and healthy eating. Enjoy family meals together whenever possible, making it a shared experience filled with laughter and conversation. Show enthusiasm and try new foods alongside your child, making them feel comfortable and excited about exploring new foods.
- Involve Your Toddler in Meal Preparation: Children love to feel involved, so invite them to join you in the kitchen. While you handle the stove and knives, they can contribute by washing vegetables, mixing ingredients, or tearing lettuce for a salad. This hands-on experience will make them feel proud and excited about eating the meal they helped create.
- Make Healthy Foods Fun: Who says healthy food can’t be fun? Transform nutritious ingredients into playful treats. For example, make fruity popsicles using pureed fruits and yogurt or create a vegetable train with carrot sticks, cucumber wheels, and cherry tomato carriages. Engage your toddler’s imagination and turn healthy eating into a joyful adventure.
Would you like to read more about how you can help your toddler become a happy eater? This article explains all about the importance of repetition. It turns out that most children dislike new tastes to start with (scientists call this ‘food neophobia’, and it’s completely normal), but, if we keep trying, they learn to like it gradually. Sometimes it can take 15-20 goes before they really start liking something. So don’t be put off if they pull a face when they first try something with a strong flavour!
In case you are still looking for some inspiration, there are tons of great recipes available on the internet which your toddler will definitely love to prepare with you! And remember, it’s not just about what they eat but also the positive experiences they have during mealtimes. Before you know it, you’re well on your way to raising you little one to explore and enjoy a variety of flavors with enthusiasm. Bon appétit and enjoy the video below of a true foodie in the making!