Tackling Fussy Eaters
It can be extremely difficult getting your little ones (especially demanding toddlers) to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. Kids often eat foods for taste and satisfaction and not the health benefits. Whilst it’s important to educate your children on the importance of nourishing their body with nutritious foods, be sure to incorporate enjoyable techniques to get them exploring with their taste buds!
A great way to introduce a variety of fruit and vegetables to your children is to entice them with the “colours of the rainbow”. Rainbows are colourful, appealing and create a sense of happiness within a person, so why not incorporate it into your toddlers meal time?
A simple, yet effective activity you can include in your daily routine at home, is a rainbow food chart. Create a table with the colours of the rainbow along one side, and the days of the week along the top. When your child has eaten a fruit or vegetable of a particular colour on a certain day, get your child to place a sticker in the corresponding box. This allows your child to see their progress across a week and can give them a sense of independence, satisfaction and ownership in their development.
Download our free Eat A Rainbow sheet here!
Some other helpful hints to get your toddler eating their fruit and vegetables include:
Lead by example: if your child observes you eating a variety of fruit and veggies, this can be enough for them to do the same.
Involve your child in food planning and prepping: allow your child to choose fruit and veggies to include in your meals, allow them to wash them and get them to recognise the differences among the variety of the fruit and vegetables that you’re working with. With vegetables, acknowledge your child’s preference on the way they are cooked.
Explore our shop for tools you can use to help involve your little ones in the kitchen:
Positive reinforcement: be aware of the way you talk to your child in regards to eating fruit and veggies. Try to educate them on the positives of eating each piece, not so much the negatives.
For example: Replace “If you don’t eat this you are going to catch a cold” with “Green fruit and vegetables are awesome for keeping you healthy and strong to fight off any colds”
You can try incorporating play games for encouragement and education such as Fruit and Vegetable Puzzles and Flash Cards
Presentation: serve up an assortment of fruit and/or vegetables in an appealing way for your child. For example, use shape cutters to cut the fruit and vegetables (where possible) into different shapes or create a face or object on their plate with the fruit and veggies. See our range of fun kids plates and shape cutters.
Be persistent and resilient! Improvements will happen over time. Small changes can go a long way!
Healthy choices and an array of opportunities to taste, feel and play with food can lead to easier, more successful meal times and a healthier lifestyle.