Healthy nutrition is a big part of my life, and obviously I also want that my whole family is adapting such a nutrition lifestyle. But how do I communicate or teach a toddler that some foods are healthier than others? My experience shows that they are not very interested in the arguments that I bring on the table:) Our kids are two and four years old, and for me it is a constant challenge to make sure that they get enough vegetables and fruits.
When they were little, they would eat pretty much what we were having! Of course we wanted to teach them about healthy nutrition by example and not so much by talking. There were no complains, and they were willing to try whatever we put in front of them. For a while that worked and we were of course super happy that it is so easy!
However that whole "being open to try any type of food" changed with both of them right about the time when they turned two. Both of them stopped eating any type of fruit, refused to drink their freshly squeezed orange juices, started being very picky about what they want to eat and what not! It was very frustrating for me because I wanted to make sure that they get enough healthy nutrition each day.
My husband and I tried different techniques - from letting them help us with cooking, to just telling them there is nothing else to eat besides what we had prepared. My husband even started thinking of creative and funny ways to present them the food - for example cut the vegetables and fruits in different animal forms........but nothing seemed to work!
I don't know whether this change has anything to do with the food they were exposed at nursery (both of them started with one and a half!). But having gone through the same experience with both of our kids, I guess this is normal. I mean kids go through so many phases. I just use every opportunity to expose them to healthy foods - for example, I take them with me to the grocery store and they help me get all the vegetables and fruits. Or I will offer them healthy snacks for snack time. There is no intake of chocolates and sweets on daily basis, and if they do have something it is no later than 4pm!
One thing that I have come to realize is that the less I make a big deal out of the fact that they don't want to eat this or that, the quicker they start asking for certain fruits or vegetables. What I am seeing with my son now all of a sudden is that he is back into eating a lot of different fruits, he is actively asking to have a fruit, and on most mornings he wants to drink a glass of The Glowing Green Smoothie®. My hope is that when our daughter sees that he is eating all these foods, she would also want to eat them.......but I assume that this is a phase that every child goes through and it will pass by!
Until then share what have your nutrition experiences been with your kids.
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