I am Stonyfield Ambassador and, as such I receive product and compensation. All opinions, writing and photographs are 100% my own. This post also contains toddler feed items received from OXO Tot.
Raising a healthy eater can be challenging, especially when you’re dealing with a toddler! You know they need to to eat their fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and healthy proteins; but they sometimes have other ideas!
We lucked out with our third son, who is a tremendous eater. He will try ANYTHING and loves his fruits and veggies. I know we are lucky, but I also know that things can change in an instant! If you are struggling getting your toddler to be a healthy eater, here are some tips that can help!
Variety Truly Is the Spice of Life (If You Want a Healthy Eater!)
Would you get bored if you had to eat the same thing every day, day after day? You probably would, and the same thing can happen with your toddler! The great thing about healthy foods is that they are often vibrant in color and full of different textures.
Toddlers are like little sponges, they LOVE soaking up new things, and this can be a great opportunity when it comes to meal time. Instead of offering a banana, what about starfruit or maybe some cut up kiwi? Rotate through different fruits and vegetables and see what your child likes– you may be surprised!
You can also ask your toddler for input when you are shopping for produce. Let them choose a new fruit, vegetable, or other healthy food or snack to try out that week.
Try, Try and Try Again
Just like us, toddlers have tastes that can change. You might try to feed them broccoli one week with no success, only to have them gobble it up two weeks later! Keep exposing your child to new foods and make sure you try new ones too! You don’t have to serve a large portion of the new food—a little taste is perfect to see if they like it, without wasting food.
I love the OXO Tot Divided Plate with Removable Ring in the picture above, because it allows you to serve three different items for your child to try, complete with a spot for a tasty and healthy dip!
Serve Condiments with Snacks and Meals
Like older children, toddlers love to dip their food! It’s a great tactile exercise for them to grab their food and give it a good dip before eating. We love to serve hummus with pretzels or fresh-cut veggies with the boys. You can stash the hummus in the little dipping well in the center of the OXO Tot divided plate (it has just enough space to prevent a huge dipping mess!).
Spice it Up!
Adults often think that toddlers like blander foods, and in fact, it’s just the opposite. Kids have more taste buds than adults (ours don’t get replaced as we age!), so they love a variety of different spices and seasonings. Instead of shying away from different flavors, especially with ethnic foods, let them taste away!
When my boys were younger, we always gave them smaller amounts of everything we ate. The result? They love flavors like curry and ginger! While they are still picky in some respects, I consider them to have pretty well-developed palates. I don’t force them to eat anything, I just ask that they don’t knock it before they try it! 🙂
Encourage Toddlers to Feed Themselves Independently
I know it’s messier, like A LOT messier, but toddlers are much more likely to eat foods that they can feed themselves. They develop independence and our proud of themselves when they can self-feed. My almost two year-old LOVES feeding himself his Stonyfield YoTot yogurts.
I love that they are just the right size. He gets most of the yogurt into his mouth, but there’s not too much for him to make a colossal mess with! He’s currently loving the OXO Tot fork and spoon he got to try out. The slightly chunkier handle gives him a good, solid grip!
You also use spill-proof snack cups like the one above for smaller foods that help toddlers develop their pincer grip! This cup has saved me from quite a few spills already! 😉 If your toddler likes grapes, OXO Tot also has cool little grape cutter that quarters the grapes to make them safer to eat!
For more healthy snack ideas check out 30 Something Mother Runner’s Healthy Snack Pinterest board!