Teaching Toddlers About Food
Instilling good eating habits in our children is paramount for setting them up to enjoy all types of food; especially fruit and vegetables but this can be difficult for the picky eater. Having a picky eater in the house is very difficult for a lot of parents. It’s frustrating and can be soul destroying to cook new meals for them to be binned because your three year old turned up their nose. Children have a massive resilience and if you give in and give them something they will eat other than the meal you cooked, they know they can win! It’s a battle of wills: children can’t starve themselves but that doesn’t mean we won’t panic thinking that they will. Lots of children see certain vegetables and immediately turn up their noses. Blending down vegetables into pasta or curry sauces is one of the oldest tricks in the book and it’s a trick that works!
Picky eaters that refuse new veggies never need know about it. You really learn to appreciate how many lies your parents tell you after you become a parent yourself! If your kids refuse broccoli and carrots, over steaming and blending it into a pasta sauce can mean you get into them some excellent and vital nutrients and they never even know about it. Many companies out there offer courses for healthy eating in children like hatacademy.co.uk and these are great and packed full of information. However, some children are plain picky, some have issues with food following an illness and some are just plain greedy guts and will eat everything in sight including all the good food. Like adults, children like junk foods. Sugar and fats are addictive and of course, children would sooner choose McDonalds or chocolate over actual nutritious meals. However, if they are taught from a young age that a balanced diet is the key to their nutrition, growth and survival it can make all the difference. Some children have an issue with mixing textures together which can be hard when a lot of food is made in sauces.
Fizzy drinks are something that are a definite no no on milk teeth. Just because the milk teeth fall out doesn’t mean you want their adult teeth to grow through decayed or full of cavities. You also don’t want them to become addicted to high fructose syrups, sugars and saturated fats which is a very real danger. Children with sugar addiction can have horrendous mood swings and awful reactions to certain E numbers in the foods. These can range from hyperactivity to general crashes in hormones which then leads onto actual withdrawal. Children cannot handle sugar in the same way that adults do, so having a treat limited to once or twice a week is better for them than every single day.
Having a balanced diet with fats, carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables along with fruit, will mean that children are retaining all the vitamins and nutrients that they need to successfully grow and have a lot of energy. Children are better equipped to tell you if they are full as opposed to adults who are able to ignore that full signal.