Meal planning for my kids was increasingly becoming a nightmare! Riley eats relatively well, due to the fact that I learnt my lesson with Jamie and swore to never be apathetic when it came to Riley. With Jamie, I failed to properly introduce the right nutrition into his diet. This unfortunately resulted in poor and fussy eating habits.
I still maintain it’s the wrath of karma getting back at me for never wanting to eat as a child. But okay, let’s go with, I failed. Accepted.
I have recently decided to attempt a more creative approach to cooking food for them. This seems to be a success!
Please keep in mind, I am not a nutritionist, these are just average household tips in getting your toddler to eat.
Pack a few snacks when out for the day, (try for healthier options) to avoid relying on fast foods. Allow for treats like ice-creams or sweets, but make sure they are aware that it is for special occasions. Look after your children’s health, everything they eat when they are little, will have consequences; therefore it is your responsibility to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition they require.
Plan ahead. Cook one meal that the whole family may eat. Take the kids portions out before adding any spices / strong cooking sauces. This will also force the effort for you to eat healthier too!
Eat together. It is important for your kids to know what meal time is. (Particularly dinner time, which is also a great way for the family to sit down together). This way they won’t have any distractions.
Jamie loves dinosaurs and dragons, and I encourage him to allow them to have dinner with us. I let him feed them. This encourages him to eat his food as he sees the big, strong dinosaurs are “eating” too. Imagination is a spectacular thing!
Make sure they have a solid breakfast. This will get their energies going first thing in the morning and ensure that by snack time, they will be hungry and want to eat.
Remember, as an adult, if you skip a meal, your appetite and energy depreciates. a minimum of 3 meals & 3 snacks throughout the day are sufficient. This same rule applies to your children.
Sneak in veggies. Blend the vegetables and add it to the pasta as a sauce. Kids love pasta! And they will never know.
Freeze smoothies in ice-cream-sucker tupperware – great for summer! Use milk or yoghurt and you can add berries or fruit in them too.
Let them get involved. Allow them to mash the banana or mix the ingredients in the bowl. They will want to try their own creations.
Get creative; make shapes out of their meals. Presentation is everything!