Sometimes toddlers need a little time to warm up to new foods. So what is the best way to encourage trying new things and including a diversity of fruits and vegetables?
Most parents give up after 2-3 introductions of a new food, but did you know it takes 10-15 tries with one food for a toddler to fully accept it? Here are some tips and tricks to get your little one to not only eat their veggies but to enjoy them!
Be a good role model.
Remember that your toddler idolizes you. They want to grow up and be just like Mommy and Daddy, so they mimic your actions, as well as your food choices. Make an effort to eat the foods that you are feeding your toddler, and you will both be better off in the long run. Also try to make meal time a fun bonding activity, turn off your screens and eat together at the table in order to establish a good healthy relationship with food.
Get your toddler involved in the food selection and food preparation process.
Toddlers love being mommy’s little helpers and they love trips to the grocery store; they always tend to be attracted to the bright colors of fruits and veggies. Ask your little helper to hold your grocery list while you shop, and occasionally have them help you make decisions: green apples or red? Carrots or celery? Your little one will be more likely to eat the foods that they helped you pick out.
Make meals fun!
Make your child’s meal attractive to them. Cut their foods into fun shapes, arrange them in eye-catching patterns. For example, arrange their veggies to look like a face on their plate, or put their fruit on a fun placemat with colorful toddler friendly silverware.
Juices and smoothies
Juices and smoothies are a great way to get your toddler to reap the health benefits of vegetables while enjoying the taste of fruit. If you have a juicer or blender, combine some fruits and veggies and give them to your toddler in their favorite cup. Juices and smoothies will take on the color of vegetables, but the flavor of fruit. Home made juices and smoothies are the best and can also be a fun activity for you and your toddler to do together.
Most importantly have a great attitude. It is easy to get frustrated when your little one refuses to eat healthy foods, but patience is key, remember it takes 10-15 introductions for them to fully accept a new food!
What are some things that work for you in introducing new fruits and vegetables?