When it comes to little kids, let’s face it, most of them just want to eat cookies, goldfish crackers, and juice. Just getting them to eat anything at all is a challenge most of the time, so we can be so grateful that they are eating that we can slide on what we approve is acceptable or not.
Pediatricians recommend at least 2 servings of fruit and vegetables minimally a day for your little ones. You should also incorporate whole grains and avoid anything processed whenever you can. However, when toddlers are kicking and screaming rolling around on the floor you find yourself scratching your chin trying to imagine how you’re ever going to possibly get a carrot stick in there.
It is tricky, it’s true, but there are some tricks of the trade that parents can do to make it go down easier. It’s all about that ”spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.”
Set An Example
One of the best ways that you can create an environment where eating healthy food isn’t a big deal and something that should be cried about, is setting a positive example for your child. By them seeing that healthy food choices are the “norm” they won’t see anything wrong with being handed an apple at snack time instead of a pop tart.
The more that your child sees you doing something, the more that they will want to imitate. This goes beyond healthy meal times!
Use a Reward System
Many parents swear they won’t use bribery in their parenting tactics until they have a toddler. The bribery system, aka more gently referred to as “the reward system” is sometimes the only way that you can convince a stubborn eater.
A reward system can be anything from the promise of dessert to an outing the next day.
Many parents use a sticker chart which serves as a progress report for good eating. If your child eats all their veggies or fruits each meal time, they get a sticker. After a certain amount of stickers are earned they receive a reward!
Hide The Vegetables With “Yummy” Stuff
Try pureeing your vegetables and fruits in your children’s food. Foods in which vegetables and fruits can be sneakily blended into include spaghetti sauce, smoothies, and baked goods. By adding pureed wholesome foods in with the more recognizable meals they adore, they’ll never know they’ve just eaten a whole 3 servings of vegetables!
Use the Ice Cube Tray Trick
The old ice cube trick is a great way to get your toddler to try a variety of items at meal time. Put a few different types of foods in each small cube of an empty ice cube tray. Make sure that one of the squares has a treat in it.