Toddlers are growing in leaps and bounds — physically and mentally. It’s important to serve healthy meals and snacks and teach your little ones about the importance of good nutrition.
Do set a three-bite rule
Toddlers can be very picky about what they eat and resistant to trying new things. However, it’s important to keep introducing new nutritious foods to them — fruits and veggies, wholegrains and lean sources of protein. Institute a three-bite rule in your house. Whatever food you put on their plate, they must eat three bites — no matter what it is. Don’t get frustrated if your toddler doesn’t like something at first. It sometimes takes seven to 10 times before a child acquires a liking for a particular food.
Don’t allow your toddler to drink juice all day
Toddlers love their juice. And though a small amount of juice may relieve constipation and keep your child hydrated, juice and other sugary drinks can lead to obesity, diabetes and a number of other ailments. Allow your toddler to have a very small quantity of juice by mixing a 4:1 ratio of water to juice. Encourage them to drink water and other healthy drinks, such as milk or Pfizer S-26 Gold Toddler. This is a nutritious vanilla milk drink for toddlers aged 12 months and up, formulated with all the nutrients they need. You can find it in powder or ready-to-serve liquid form.
Don’t be afraid to get a little sneaky
If your child isn’t getting enough vegetables in their diet, you need to get a little sneaky. Add shredded carrots and zucchini to bread and muffin mixes. Mix chopped spinach into pasta sauce, and blend a variety of fruits and vegetables into smoothies. You can add cauliflower to mashed potatoes or add sweet potatoes to soups and stews.
Do make sure your toddler is getting enough protein
Protein is essential for your little one’s growth and development. Meat isn’t the only source of protein available. Also consider peanut butter (if your child isn’t allergic), cheeses and yoghurt, as well as soy foods. For teeth and bones, calcium is also a must. Low-fat dairy foods and calcium-fortified cereals are terrific choices.
Don’t let your kids fall into bad habits
Toddlers can learn healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. And on the flip side, they can also develop poor eating habits that can linger with them forever. Teach kids about healthy snacking from a young age. Don’t keep cookies, lollies, chips and other junk food at home. Instead, stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy snack options — including hummus and wholegrain crackers, fresh fruit cut into fun shapes, yoghurt and berries.
Don’t completely outlaw all your child’s favourites just because they are a bit unhealthy. Remember, everything in moderation — kids can have a treat every now and again.