You know as a parent the importance of how a well-rounded diet can improve your child’s health. Each meal they have should consist of nutrient-dense foods such as lean meats, whole grains, dairy, and course fruits and vegetables. In a perfect world, your toddler or preschool will eat this and enjoy every bit, but that is rarely the reality.
It is no secret that many toddlers and preschoolers are incredibly picky eaters. They have their minds set one a couple of different food selections and deem everything else “gross.” Furthermore, sometimes foods that they loved one week they suddenly hate the next. If you have a toddler or preschooler that refuses to eat anything other than a small handful of foods, here are some parenting tips to ensure that they are still getting the necessary nutrition they need to grow.
Make Fun Foods
One of the tips you can try to make healthy eating more fun is by being creative with the food. For example, have you heard of ants on a log? Or maybe you have seen a star or heart-shaped sandwich that makes it more appealing for kids to try. There are tons of cute food ideas you can try that can get your toddler or preschooler to opt-in for healthy mealtime.
Allow Your Kid to Help You Cook/Prepare Meals
Let your kid help! When your child helps and is involved with the cooking and meal preparation process, they are much more likely to sit down and eat what they helped make. They got to see what goes into the meal and how cool it is that certain ingredients all come together as such. The satisfaction of making something and getting to enjoy it afterward is rewarding for anyone.
Let Them Choose Between Healthy Options
Kids want to have a say in what goes into their bodies. Think about it; how awful would it be that someone chose all your meals for you and you were forced to eat it? Probably not a desirable feeling. By allowing your kid to choose between healthy options, such as a banana or an apple, you can be confident that they are getting the nutrition they need and are happy they get a choice.
You Must Eat Healthy Too
Part of parenting is setting an excellent example for your kids, and this bleeds into what you eat. When you eat healthily and admire the proper nutrition that you are obtaining, the more likely your child will follow suit. They want to be just like you because you are their parent and mentor in life. So, make sure you eat well in front of them regularly to set a precedence.
You are not a bad mom or dad if your child will not eat everything healthy you give them. It is part of their development process, and because children do not have much say over their lives, they try to control what they can, which is frequently their food. The best thing you can do is be patient and only give them healthy food choices to choose from. As long as you offer ideal options, leading by example, and not putting pressure on them causing them to retaliate, then you can ensure that they will get the nutrition needed to thrive.
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