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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tips to Encourage Toddlers to Eat Well

If there is one thing I am proud of about Enzo, it is that he loves eating. Hubby and I does not have any problems with him being a picky eater because he loves to explore different tastes and eats almost anything. By anything, means vegetables, fruits, and meat, etc. He just enjoys eating and he prefers eating full meals than snacks. What even amazes me and hubby is that he can stay put during meal times and would also choose to eat first before playing.

Here are some proof he really loves food: 

So now, I would like to share with all of you some of my strategies and tips on encouraging our toddlers to eat and enjoy food. Hopefully, some of these might help you in managing your picky eaters. 

1. Let them experience food. Food has to be a happy and enjoyable experience for children. When Enzo was little I let him touch and hold his food because that is part of the whole food experience. Yes it will be messy but as children touch the texture and consistency of the food will they have an appreciation of it. Let them hold and touch their food as long as their hands are clean. Don't mind the mess and focus on the experience.

2. Let them eat on their own. As soon as Enzo could grip, I let him use his own utensils. We bought his own plate, bowl, spoon, and fork. It was difficult for him at first but now he is getting the hang of it. Plus he loves his independence on eating in his own plate. We also feed him during meal times just to make sure he gets to eat but he still has his own plate.

3. Hands off the sweets first. When Enzo started eating we made an agreement not to expose him on sweets and sugars just yet. Both me and hubby are a sweet tooth so we figured he might be one too. The only problem we wanted to prevent is that he'll always choose the sweet rather than the healthy ones. Now that he's going two we give him just a little bit of sweet stuff but not too much. I think it proved effective because he prefers to eat meals than chocolates or candies. 

4. Shared experience. Meal time is family time. Make sure the family eats together because children learn through imitation. If they see their parents eatig vegetables and any food on the table then they will also have the same perception. Parenta are their role models so lets model a healthy eater as well.

5. Make food appealing and expose them to a wide variety of food. This one is still a challenge for me but what looks good in the eyes can be good for the tummy. If children see their food well presented and appealing they will be more interested to eat  it right? Let's try to make an effort in food presentation too!;) Get inspired by Bento Mamas or NanaysLuncheswithLove they have a lot of cute bento meals for children. 

For now, I am grateful for Enzo being a foodie at an early age and hopefully he'll continue to grow as such. 

Do you have other useful tips to encourage toddler to eat? Share them with me. 

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