As parents, we all want to ensure that our little ones are getting the best possible nutrition to help them grow and thrive. But let's be real - getting toddlers to eat anything can be a challenge, let alone healthy meals. So, how do we make sure that our 'picky eaters' are getting the nutrients they need?
First of all, it's important to remember that toddlers are still developing their taste buds and may not like the same foods as adults. So, don't be discouraged if they turn their nose up at a dish the first time around. Keep offering it, and they may surprise you, try it, and eventually love it.
One way to make healthy meals more appealing to toddlers is by incorporating fun shapes and colors. Cut fruits and veggies into fun shapes using cookie cutters, or make a rainbow of different colored foods on their plate. And don't be afraid to get creative with your presentation - a "face" made out of veggies on their plate might just be the thing to make them excited to eat it! If you eat the 'nose', your little one might just pick up the 'mouth' and eat with glee!
Another way is to make meals interactive. Let your toddler help with meal prep, whether it's stirring, measuring, or picking out ingredients at the grocery store. Have you seen a toddler fill the shopping cart with ingredients? Give him a shopping list once a while and see for yourself! This can make them more invested in the meal and more likely to want to try it.
It's also important to include variety of foods in their diet, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Whole grain noodles, especially those made with added quinoa or other grains are a great option as they are packed with nutrients and can be a great base for a variety of dishes.
Speaking of variety, have you tried millets yet? These ancient grains are a great source of protein, fiber, and various minerals, and can be a tasty alternative to traditional grains like rice and wheat. They can be used to make porridge, pancakes, roti, and even dosa!
In conclusion, it may take some extra effort to ensure that your toddler is getting the nutrition they need, but it's worth it in the long run. By incorporating fun shapes, colors, and interactive meal prep, and by including a variety of healthy foods, including whole grains and millets, you can make healthy meals that your toddler will actually want to eat!