February 02, 2021
From ages 1 to 3 years, toddlers will start to eat more solids, giving you the perfect opportunity to develop healthy eating habits by exploring new foods. At times, mealtime can be challenging and start to feel like a battle. Get used to it, because this is something parents will continue to experience many times during this unpredictable toddler stage! Luckily, there are things you can do to help make this time fun and enjoyable for the whole family. Here are 6 tips from parents that we hope will help make food fun for you and your future mini foodie.
There’s no better way for a child to learn than with hands-on involvement. Kids love to see what you are doing, sometimes making it feel like you have a little shadow. The kitchen doesn’t have to be an exception to activities where kids can get involved. A new trend is a safe step stool that has a back for kids to safely stand next to you at the kitchen counter. My kid doesn’t like when he can’t see what I am doing, and this stool allows him to feel like he is part of the activity and gets him interested in the food I am preparing. As they learn new skills like stirring (without dropping it on the floor), you can let them take part in some of the cooking. This will allow them to learn new skills, which will in turn boost their maturity and confidence. Plus, you get an extra hand in the kitchen, it’s a win-win!
They are just tiny little humans learning a new world so it might take a little bit to master using a fork and spoon. Toddlers are exploring their independence and want to do things on their own, so serving foods that are easy to pick up can also make mealtimes less stressful for everyone. Try foods like pieces of bread, sliced bananas, steamed green beans and sliced chicken.
The Bazzle Baby Foodie Bibs are perfect for easy clean-up after a messy meal. It rolls up and snaps closed to contain mess and can be easily wiped clean or washed. This is a time to enjoy your kids and not worry about the mess!
Kids are very visual, and trying to get them to like something that is bland and boring in color can be difficult. Take advantage of fruits and vegetables that are beautifully colored and make use of all of the fun-colored serving trays that are available. Even if they don’t eat all of their colorful veggies, making sure they are served with meals and snacks will help kids get used to them being there and will eventually grow to develop a taste for healthy foods.
The more creative the meal is, the more likely kids will try it. Breakfast for dinner is a fun way to break up your routine and offer something different. You can also try switching up the environment by taking dinner outside on the patio. A new dinner atmosphere allows kids to get used to eating in different spaces and offers new things to look at so there is less fuss over the food in front of them.
If your child refuses to eat vegetables, try condiments like hummus or yogurt-based dressings. We’ve found that letting them dip it themselves gives them a sense of control and independence and will encourage them to try different things (even if it’s just to get another dip!).
Out of all of the tips, this is the most important. Keeping mealtimes pleasant and relaxed will teach them how to behave at a dinner table and allow them to enjoy this quality family time together instead of resisting it. When your kids connect eating as a fun way to spend time together, they will be more inclined to working their way to becoming a mini foodie!
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