When it comes to feeding toddlers and preschoolers, you have to become a marketing expert. Find creative ways to present food to your kids. When having picky eaters in the house you may have to come up with ways to either sneak in the good stuff or call it another name. For instance when serving Sweet Potato fries call them “Halloween Fries” in the fall. Broccoli can always be “trees” or when they are a little younger you can get away with calling peas “candy.” Another great way to get them to eat healthier foods is by using cookie cutters when making sandwiches, cheese cut outs and even some fruits.
It’s all how you present the food to them; try not to make too much of a big deal about them eating the meal but act excited about the new selections that you are giving them. A great way to get children interested in trying new things is to start eating as a family for meals. When children are led by example it becomes much easier to get children to try foods that they normally wouldn’t have tried before. Another great way to have children try new foods is to allow them to play with their food.
For a child just starting out on table food (with supervision) give them some food on their tray and allow them to touch it, smell it and try and place the food objects in their mouth. I suggest taking their clothes off and wearing just a diaper since it’s going to be a bit messy but well worth it in the end, because not only are they becoming more independent but learning to like new foods in the process. When your child gets a bit older, 2yrs and up allow them to help in the kitchen when you are making meals. Having them stir the pancake mix, pour ingredients in or even help clean up…they too are feeling like they are part of the process of the meal making which therefore makes them feel like they have ownership of it.
Here is a fun lunch or snack idea that will be a hit for kids of all ages!
You will need:
Dried or Fresh Fruit
I used the Lundberg wild rice organic cakes, they are gluten free and vegan friendly. Then spread cream cheese on the rice cake, then add a bit on honey and spread on top of the cream cheese. Using Dried fruit, made the smile face.
The eyes are banana and blueberry, nose is a mango and the mouth is strawberries. Now you can use fresh fruit but when you can find great dried fruits at the local Trader Joes, do so…well worth it. They are all natural and simply dried..that’s it! So when you can’t get fresh these is the next best thing.
Trina O’Boyle is the Social Media Manager for Happy Baby Foods, one of the leading organic food companies that caters to babies and children. Trina is the proud mother of two healthy boys, and makes sure she fills their daily diets with healthy, organic foods free of pesticides and preservatives.
Trina has a love for gardening and getting her children involved in the whole process, from picking out the seeds for that year’s crop, weeding the garden and best of all harvesting the crops at the end of the season.