4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Toddler Snacking
Many things develop in the early stages of life; how we think, communicate, and eat or snack. As adults, it is our job to help our little ones develop good moral and eating practices for their future. Common health problems of adults arise due to eating behaviors since childhood, according to research conducted in 2009 by Dr. Birch, Savage, and Ventura. Hence, we must ensure our toddlers develop healthy eating behaviors. The earlier we expose them to healthy foods and healthy living, the stronger their immune system will be in the future.
However, as you may already know, feeding your kids healthy food is not an easy undertaking. Toddlers tend to be picky about what they want to eat. You must know how to prepare tasty and enticing healthy foods, or they will ignore what you serve them.
Luckily, stores like Serenity Kids offer nourishing and delicious foods that meet the essential nutrients of babies as well as motivate toddlers to eat and snack on healthy foods. To further encourage a more beneficial way for babies to eat, consider the following:
1. Mix Healthy Snacks With Foods They Like
Healthy snacks such as vegetables and fruits are easy to add to dishes you serve to your children. Having little chops of veggies and fruits introduces nutritious food into their tastebuds and system.
The amount and way you serve the dishes are substantial; remember to start everything small. Have little portions of healthy snacks or food into their meal and gradually increase the size as time goes on. Serving it in big sizes can be too overwhelming for children to eat and could often lead them to dislike the snack further.
If your kids don't like veggies, try to mix them into foods they love. An example is adding bits of vegetables to meatballs or scrambled eggs. This trick will likely make them eat it. If they don't like the dish's taste, try different variations they might like. Repeating this trick more often will help them build a tolerance for the food being served, and eventually, they will like it. It is all about trial and error until you find a combo they love.
2. Be Creative — Use Shapes and Different Colors In Your Dishes
Kids are highly interested in the different shapes and colors they see. You can use this technique for them to try or taste a dish.
If tiny chops of fruits and vegetables are not working, try molding them to different figures such as a star or car. You can buy a set of cutters available in different shapes that will help you accomplish this. A regular knife could also trick; just let your imagination run wild.
3. Turn the Snacks Into Smoothies
Another style of serving healthy foods can be in the form of liquids that could be drunk after every meal. You can make these with the help of a blender. Vegetables such as peas, carrots, avocado, and spinach are one of the best ingredients to add to smoothies. You can add different dairy products or non-dairy milk to the smoothie. An alternative to these could be camel milk, as a study suggests it is healthy for children.
Such smoothies may lead them to like the taste of the vegetable or fruit over time. Additionally, they would still have the food's nutrients when turned into this delicious beverage. You can also freeze the smoothies or turn them into popsicles to serve them as cold treats during a hot day.
4. Be a Role Model During Family Dinner
Children often learn many things from their surroundings, especially those close to them, like their family. By showing and teaching them how to eat healthier, they will absorb this information and guidance and imitate them up to adulthood.
Being a role model to children doesn't mean you have to be strict and force them to eat vegetables or lecture them about it. Eating with the family and letting the dinner be fun could let the children engage more in eating healthier.
If your family have different taste and preferences, you can consider having deconstructed dinners. This kind of food serving allows picky eaters such as toddlers to choose from various ingredients served individually on the table.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Our body responds and develops based on the food we consume. Encouraging your children at a young age to eat healthier would help them grow well and strong. You can try to entice your toddlers to eat more nutritious snacks using the tips above.
Nicole Sebastian is a writer and entrepreneur who runs a daycare center in her community. She is passionate about childcare and helping new moms navigate the first few years of their child's life. She is a mother to twin girls and proud wife to her husband.