Meal Ideas for Toddlers - Foods That Provide Toddler Nutrition

Getting toddlers to eat healthier foods can be a challenge, but, with perseverance and creativity, parents can get the job done.

Toddlers tend to be hesitant about trying new foods and will develop a sudden dislike for former favorites. It can be tempting to simply stop offering them a balanced meal when you know they will waste it, but it is important to keep trying so that they get the nutrition they need and are familiar with a variety of healthy choices as they grow up. Finding foods that provide toddler nutrition can be a challenge, but parents who are creative and persistent will be able to find some winning meal ideas.

Add Foods that Provide Toddler Nutrition to Favorite Dishes

One of the easiest ways to make healthy meals for kids is to make the foods they want to eat healthier, either by hiding fruits and vegetables inside or by reducing the amount of butter, salt, etc. in the recipe. How do you hide fruits and veggies in their food? Just grate or puree a veggie or fruit and add it to the dish to ensure that kids who refuse to eat produce still get a balanced meal.

Make Nutritious Food Fun for Toddlers to Eat

One five year old chows down on edamame beans and begs for carrots and dip for a snack. Another sobs when he is handed his fruit or veggie snacks. While they may both have had this reaction no matter what, it is likely that the fact that the first child's parents exposed him to a variety of fruits and vegetables at an early age made him more likely to eat veggies happily. It is also likely that his parents' effort to make nutrition food fun had an effect on his desire to eat healthy snacks.

* Edamame beans seasoned with a bit of sea salt are fun to pop from their pods and into little mouths.

* Baby carrots or broccoli trees are cute all on their own. Adding a few little bowls of different types of dip make them really appealing.

* Banana slices are easier and more enjoyable to eat than a whole banana when you're under five.

* Old favorites like ants on a log (Raisins on peanut butter celery.) are old favorites for a reason.

* Mini sandwiches in animal shapes are less overwhelming to think of eating than a big sandwich half. Make the sandwich; cut a few shapes out with the cookie cutters and you have a very appealing meal.

Once you begin thinking creatively, you should begin to see an improvement in your toddler's eating habits. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't happen right away, though. The key to good toddler nutrition is perseverance.

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