You may have heard the phrase, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well, how often do you fill your fruit bowl with ripe and colourful fruit, with the intentions of everyone finishing it before week’s end? What about the fridge crisper, with an abundance of veggies? Come week’s end most of us empty it with a sigh and then replace it all over again, noticing that all the crackers and biscuits made it into our toddler’s tummies. It’s enough to drive you crazy right? That’s why we’d like to help with 12 surefire tactics to arm yourself against the dreaded fussy-eating toddler. Or should we say… snactics!
Arrange some chopped vegetables or fruit into some happy faces on a plate. Have a competition to see who can copy them best!
Have the kids prepare some snacks for you! They can play chef under your supervision, using some kid-friendly knives, and serve you up some healthy options. Pro-tip: a chef should always sample their food to make sure it tastes good! *Wink wink.
Anything a child can dip, they’ll usually enjoy eating more. Did someone say hummus and carrot?
Presentation is key! How much more do you enjoy your food when it looks pretty? A colourful arrangement of fruits, vegetables and nuts will go a long way if it’s served up colourfully and with a smile.
Take-away snacks anyone? Perhaps all it takes when it’s brunch time is to relocate with your food to the comfort of the couch.
Blind taste-testing. Under supervision, blindfold your toddler and have them try out some new foods while making a game of it. This is a great way to incorporate new foods, just make sure to tell them afterwards if they enjoyed them. Perhaps for every correct guess, they get a piece of chocolate! Now that’s balance.
Everything’s better with a little bit of healthy peanut butter drizzled on top. Plus it’s a great way to incorporate essential fats!
Have your children help you cook as much as they want (within safety reasons of course). Making sure to always practice safe cooking procedures. If they fall in love with cooking, then they’ll fall in love with food. Job done. So try and cook an abundance of healthy options!
Give food creative names, and even tie in some storytelling and role-play. Perhaps you and your child are giants! Chomping through an enchanted “broccoli tree” forest!
Kids usually want what they can’t have. If you’re “casually” making it clear that no they can’t have any of your super tasty and secret snacks just for adults, chances are they’ll eat a plate full even if they dislike the taste.
When all else fails, or even as measure of nutritional precaution, hide those veggies in meals! Try adding grated carrot in spaghetti bolognese or adding cauliflower puree underneath tomato paste on a home-made pizza. Your kids should never underestimate you!
You’re all set! Put your aprons on and get chopping. With enough of these snactics down pat, you’ll be filling your toddler’s lunch box with healthier treats in no time at all.
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