Ah the mighty toddler, one day they’re happily eating anything you put in front of them and the next their mouth is a no-go zone for food they used to adore. It can be pretty frustrating for parents with fussy or finicky eaters, but it’s a common stage for kids to go through.
Try not to get overwhelmed with how little they have eaten on any given day, look at it over a week and you’ll probably feel better. And I hate to say it, but all those annoying people that say ‘your child won’t starve himself’ are right. Healthy and happy kids will eat when they’re hungry and us parents usually have no say over this.
Fact: Suggested daily serves for a toddler are one serve of fruit, two-and-a-half serves of veggies, one-and-a-half serves of dairy, four serves of bread, cereals and grains and one serve of meat.
Just make sure you’re offering up some of these 7 healthy foods and do your best to throw those worries to the kerb!
Such a convenient finger food, these blueberries are a fabulous source of vitamin C and dietary fibre. Best of all, unlike other fruits these berries require no hulling, peeling or pitting so are a great on the go food.
Packed with an array of nutritional benefits, this green gem is good for your toddler’s eyes, heart and can be easily cut up or mashed at home or away. It’s rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and anti-inflammatory compounds called phenolics.
Get your toddler hooked on these omega-3 fatty acid-packed foods early and you won’t have a problem down the track. Make a tuna bake with cheese sauce and your toddler will benefit from vitamin B and the lean protein in this dish.
4. Oatmeal and quinoa
A silky smooth plate of oatmeal with a dash of honey will give your toddler a fibre-packed breakfast that they digest slowly so it keeps them full for longer. Meanwhile, quinoa is a complete protein, has eight essential amino acids and is high in iron.
Did you know? cinnamon is a spice that can help regulate blood sugar and can also help with mid-morning energy crashes. Try sprinkling some on your toddler’s porridge or in their yoghurt.
Protein-rich and naturally high in vitamin D, that helps the body absorb calcium, eggs are a complete meal and are filling for little tummies. They contain omega-3 and supply all the essential amino acids to help with hormones, skin and tissue development.
6. Fresh vegetables
Think outside of the box with these. Give your toddler frozen peas, cherry tomatoes that are easy to pop in their mouth or red peppers that are sweet and crunchy. Carrots, sweet potato and zucchini can also be cooked and mashed together for a boost of nutrients.
Don’t despair if your toddler is turning their nose up at every food you offer, it’s not personal and it won’t last forever. Think about all the foods you didn’t eat as a kid but now love.
About the author
When former journalist Emily Toxward isn’t wrangling her three kids she’s juggling the demands of her business Write Styling and failing fabulously at being a domestic goddess. A published writer for nearly 20 years, Emily left full-time work in 2008 to have children and write from home. Always on the go, she spends her days negotiating with an army of little people she created and visits her local Gold Coast beaches for a little sanity.