Monday, January 17, 2011

How to Get Toddlers to Eat Healthy

The toddler years can be one of the most difficult periods for most parents to go through. That is due to the fact that such young children are only just figuring out how to communicate with others, but can easily and frequently become distressed when we don’t fully understand them. Another contributing factor is the simple fact that toddlers are learning how to express their feelings more openly, which can often times result in pouting or throwing a temper tantrum. Due to the toddler’s discovery of independence, one of the most trying issues most parents deal with is getting their toddler to eat healthy. In fact, getting toddlers to eat healthy often times calls for imaginative and creative thinking on mommy’s part.

One of the easiest approaches of getting your little one to consume nutritious foods is by allowing him or her to exercise his or her her newly found independence by making choices. This doesn’t suggest that you bring her to the grocery store and allow her to choose each and every thing that she desires. You do need to guide her. For example, while you are in the food store, present her with the choice of getting apples or grapes. Then, whichever she chooses will go in the shopping cart. These are each wholesome foods that she can have at snack time. So, when snack time comes around, grab the fruit and say excitedly, “Look! Let’s eat the _____ you picked out!” Most of the time, your child will be delighted to eat the food she helped pick out.

Another way to get your tot to eat healthy and well-balanced meals is to prepare food creatively. For example, many moms are learning how to get their fussy kids to eat vegetables by pureeing them and mixing them in with foods they love. A great example of this is pureeing butternut squash and mixing it in with the cheese mixture for macaroni and cheese. Or you can sneak a bit of cauliflower in with mozzarella cheese in a homemade pizza or mix it in with mashed potatoes. Add vegetable juice to meat by injecting it in with a flavor injector. Yet another good idea is to add a little bit of raw spinach to fruit smoothies – I”ve been doing this for years without detection. While these ideas may be brand new to you, there are, in fact, several cookbooks out there containing tasty recipes using these methods.

Just like each and every child is completely unique, there are many different things that will work for each girl or boy. And so, when healthful eating is your mission, find things that work and use them for as long as you possibly can. You might have to adjust strategies in the future, but until that time occurs, remain consistent with what works well for your children.

Bonnie L. is the founder of A Kid Place, visit at and check out our blog at

No comments: