From weaning, right through to teenage years, it’s important to allow your child the opportunity to enjoy a varied diet. Toddlers, in particular, are growing and developing quickly, eating well will give them the energy and nutrients they need for brainpower and physical activity.
It’s good to start teaching your child and allow them to learn about food, nutrition, and even getting them involved in preparing meals or even growing fruit and vegetables. This way you can encourage them to get into the habit of consuming healthy and varied meals and snacks that you can all enjoy as a family.
Of course, we don’t live in an ideal world and it’s highly likely your children will turn their noses up at a lot of healthy food. As much as we know a good, balanced and varied diet is important, it’s not always that easy to encourage little ones to eat certain types of food.
Here are a few tips that may help:
- Keep offering food, even if your child doesn’t like it at first. It may take ages for them to even try it, but always pop it on their plate and one day their curiosity is likely to get the better of them.
- Help your child to learn about the food they’re eating. Use pictures, books, apps and games, or sing songs about the food, let them play with it and explore.
- If you can, involve your children in growing food, it’s exciting to watch something evolve from nothing into wonderful vegetables or fruits!
- Go shopping with your little one and let them look at all the food available, encourage them to smell and choose the things they want, within reason.
- Cooking together is another good way to get your children interested in trying a range of different foods, even if it’s just watching or eating the odd spare ingredient.
- Praise is very important when it comes to good eating behaviours. Even if they only try a tiny bit of something new, offer praise in any way you see fit, from a simple well done to a sticker chart.
- Be a role model for your children by eating a healthy and varied diet yourself. If they see you eating certain foods, they’re more likely to give them a go.
- Most importantly, relax about it! Don’t make a big issue out of food, as this could have the opposite effect to what you’re trying to achieve.
Be sure to check out our Parenting Hack videos, where we delve into little tips to help your everyday life as a parent! https://youtu.be/bIpHZxdqObs