Gone are the days of boring, bland and tasteless foods for babies and toddlers.
Just like adults, our little ones also appreciate food bursting with flavour. It is important that soon after introducing solids you introduce a range of flavours such as fresh herbs including mint, basil, thyme and mixed dried herbs like cinnamon, cumin, curry, garlic, cocoa powder and the like. Sugar-free nut butter also packs a flavour punch, but always check for allergies first.
Luckily for busy moms, Squish 100% fruit and veg purees come in a range of delicious flavours, making introducing new tastes to your little one so much easier.
Mealtime = Fun Time
Children eat with their eyes. Make mealtimes fun, interesting and appealing. Call in the help of your child’s favourite superhero or princess with colourful kiddie-friendly cups, plates, utensils, placemats and lunch boxes. Cut and arrange assorted coloured fruit and vegetables into interesting shapes and funny faces. Use cookie cutters on wholegrain sandwiches or arrange mashed sweet potato into fun shapes.
As any parent can attest, it is a daily struggle to get children to eat their fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are some of nature’s most perfect foods; rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibre, highly nutritious for preventing illness and disease and for overall health. To encourage variety, print a picture of a rainbow and place on the fridge or in your child’s room. Encourage your child to choose a fruit or veggie each day from a different colour of the rainbow. For example, tomatoes and watermelon are red, berries and beetroot are purple and mangoes and carrots are orange
Implement a reward chart
Rewards systems like star charts to mark off how many fruit and vegetables are eaten are also a fun game for your child. Place it somewhere visible and offer your child a reward when a goal is reached such as going to the park or an extra story at night before bed.
Get green fingers
Children love being outside and getting their hands dirty. Use this to your advantage and build a vegetable garden. If you do not have a garden, window sills and vertical/hanging gardens are good alternatives. With your child, plant various herbs and vegetables and, when ready to be harvested, pick the vegetables with your toddler.
Older toddlers and young children will enjoy being in the kitchen. Let your children watch you prepare family meals and talk to them about what you are cooking. Let them help you set the table and stir ingredients in plastic bowls. Older children can help chop soft vegetables like baby marrow with a butter knife.
One at a Time
As much as we want to encourage a variety of flavours, it is important to introduce new foods and previously disliked foods one at a time. Children are naturally wary of anything unfamiliar.
Always offer up a new food with a well-liked food to help increase your child’s acceptance of the food. Remember, it can take up to 15 exposures of food before your child likes it, so stay patient and keep trying.
And if all else fails, there is always the Squish 100% fruit and veg puree range with enough delicious flavours to please even the fussiest of eaters.