Finding Healthy Meal Options
When it comes to toddlers, they always want to be in charge of their decisions, and food is no exception to this. It is during this time that many children start to figure out what they like and do not like, and they can sometimes be characterized as a “picky eater”. But this can be a prime time to offer children a variety of foods to pique their interest. Our menus at the center are rich in various fruits and vegetables as well as proteins and grains. We find it important to offer children these types of healthy foods at a young age to help them develop healthy eating habits that they can benefit from now and in the future.
In this article titled 10 Tips for Parents of Picky Eaters, they offer some great tips to help you develop these healthy habits at home. One great tip that we participate in at our center is family-style dining. Sitting around the table together as a family and modeling those healthy eating habits is one of the best ways to show children that it is fun to try new things. This time spent together is also a great bonding experience. Another great tip mentioned in the article was the idea of “food bridges”. Whenever your child finds a food that they like, offer similar foods to help expand the variety of foods your child may like.
Many skills are learned in the toddler years, and healthy eating is just as important of a skill than any other. In this next month, I encourage you to take time to try out some of these tips and spend some time together as a family exploring new foods. I know things can get busy nowadays, but you can begin with a day or two a month just to get started. It is helpful for the whole family to participate, and you might be surprised to find what your child enjoys!
Ivy Academy Downtown Site Director