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 like Palak Paneer Rice for Babies 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.
Palak Paneer Rice for Babies and Toddlers
2. Encourage your child to have at least one meal with the family members and also serve what you eat like Vegetable Idli for Babies. 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.
Vegetable Idli for Babies and Toddlers
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. Have toys around them while eating. Television is one way but should only be used as the last resort. Try the recipe of Spring Vegetable Risotto.
Spring Vegetable Risotto for Babies and Toddlers
4. Be innovative and occasionally serve your child's meal in plates with different shapes. For example, a flat plate, a colourful oval-shaped bowl etc. if she is not attached to one particular plate. Check the recipe of Mixed Vegetable Soup in bright coloured bowls with colourful spoons.
Mixed Vegetable Soup for Babies and Toddlers
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. Present dosa in a more creative way like Moong Sprouts Dosa for Kids.
Moong Sprouts Dosa for Kids
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. Try and mix soup like Potato and Vegetable Soup. 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.
Potato and Vegetable Soup for Babies and Toddlers
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. Like use rotis to make attractive and healthy Roti ladoos.
Roti, Chapati Ladoo for Babies and Toddlers
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. You can also try making fried foods in an oven some times, than the store bought fried foods like we have done in the recipe of Crunchy Drops.
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. Try Mini Bajra Oats Uttapam as a snack for your little one.
Mini Bajra and Oats Uttapa ( Baby and Toddler)
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.