10 Tips to make Meal Times Fun and Healthy for your Toddler
Here is a detailed method of getting on how to get your toddlers to eat plus a collection of excellent healthy recipes.
Children are good imitators. Set a good example for them by eating a variety of foods yourself. Always offer a variety of foods to ensure that your child is getting a balanced diet. Try not to show any dislike towards specific foods while feeding, as your child may easily be influenced by you.
10 Tips to make Meal Times Fun with your Toddler
1. Try and serve small amounts of food at each meal and encourage your child to have a second serving if she wants to. Make meal times pleasant and allow your baby to eat what she wants to eat. Being rigid with her food will only make her stubborn. Be flexible but firm.
2. Encourage your child to have at least one meal with the family members. This is also a good time to encourage your child to feed herself, if she hasn't started already. Do not expect anything other than a messy meal time in the beginning. Very soon, she will master the art of eating on her own with good table manners, making you a proud mum.
3. Ensure that your child sits upright and is not lying, running or playing while eating. You could also engage her in some sit-down games to retain this posture. Television is one way but should only be used as the last resort.
4. Be innovative and occasionally serve your child's meal in plates with different shapes. For example, a flat plate, a colourful oval-shaped plate etc. if she is not attached to one particular plate.
5. Foods with different shapes and sizes also attract children to eat more. It is wise to occasionally serve foods like rotis, biscuits etc. in different shapes like round, oval, square etc.
6. Allow your child to drink soups and juices occasionally with a straw if she wants. This will take more time but will definitely be a source of motivation for your child to drink more too. Ensure that you wash and clean these straws with sterilised water immediately, since even a little juice or soup left in the straw will harbour germs easily.
7. If your child shows dislike for a particular ingredient or a food, wait for a few weeks and then try the same once again. If she reacts in a similar way, do not force her to have that ingredient or food. Instead try and cook it in a different style.
8. Fried foods and aerated waters are a part of everyone's diet in some form. The trick here is to let them enjoy everything in moderation because the more you forbid them, the more tempting those foods will seem to her. If you give your child wafers to snack on, ask her to include a fruit in that snack too. This will make both of you happy.
9. Avoid using too much salt, sugar and processed and refined products like maida, noodles etc. in your child’s daily diet, as much of their goodness has already been destroyed. They may also contain additional colours, flavourings or preservatives, which are unhealthy. Furthermore, since the habits you create now will stay with her for a lifetime, it is wiser to stay with whole grains (wheat, bajra, jowar etc.), fruits and vegetables.
10. Kids are usually aware of how much and what they want to eat. Let the meal end when your little one has had enough. Do not force, bribe or threaten her to eat more or you might find yourself in a shower of baby food or a resentful little baby.
Read this interesting artilce of Weaning babies with Fruit and Vegetable Juices.