Healthy eating habits can help ensure that your child grows and develops well. However, your role doesn’t stop at simply putting the right food on the table. Even if you prepare the healthiest food recipes for kids, sometimes the real challenge lies in getting your child to actually eat the food. Try these helpful parenting tips to make mealtimes as stress-free as possible.
Feed your toddler’s trust in you
Your child’s trust in you has been developing since infancy. Nurturing this sense of trust remains important throughout toddlerhood. Make your kid feel safe and comfortable by strengthening the positive attachment between the two of you. This basically means responding to and acknowledging your child’s needs and feelings. Because each time you do, you earn more and more of your little one’s trust, which could lead to much more relaxed behavior during mealtimes.
Get distractions out of the way
Most toddlers are easily distracted. They have an insatiable curiosity about the world around them. This eagerness to explore helps fuel their mental development, but it may also take time and attention away from eating.
To teach your child to focus during meals, remove any form of entertainment that may prove distracting. Put away tablets and gadgets, turn off the TV, tidy up toys, and keep any other bright and shiny objects out of sight. Let the food on your little one’s plate be the star.
Make mealtimes fun
Serving healthy food for kids can be especially challenging with picky toddlers. Sure, they may never tire of eating their favorite food, but they’ll be missing out on the complete nutrients of a more balanced diet.
Go ahead and experiment on creative ways to get your child to try new food. For instance, cut veggies up into smaller, less noticeable pieces and mix them into a favorite dish. Or make the food look more irresistible by playing around with shapes and color. You can even add games to make mealtime more interactive and interesting.
Whatever you do, try not to let the pressure get to you or your kid. Yes, it’s important that your child eat healthy food for kids, but turning mealtimes into daily battles won’t lead to healthy eating habits. Just be patient, don’t give up on the first try, and serve all sorts of different recipes for kids so your child gets exposed to a variety of delicious flavors. It’s the best way to raise a healthy little foodie.
*CERELAC® is a spoon-fed solid food suitable for the complementary feeding of babies 6 months onwards. Breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible after introduction of complementary food.