This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Enfagrow A+®. All opinions are 100% mine.
Making sure my twin girls ate healthy, nutritious foods was my biggest parenting struggle, hands down. There were tantrums, tears, and arguments about food daily in our house, some even before 8am. Has anyone else ever had a toddler request cupcakes for breakfast, or is that just me?
My girls were super picky with their food choices for a while, and I often found myself worrying that they weren’t getting all the nutrients they needed for healthy, proper development. Thankfully, with a few minor adjustments to our lifestyle and some creativity, I’m happy to report that my twins are eating better, and I’m less stressed about preparing food for them.
If you have a toddler that’s also a picky eater, below are some simple tips to encourage healthy eating habits and ensure that your child is getting the proper nutrition he or she needs on a daily basis!
1. Keep healthy snacks easily accessible for little hands. We have a snack drawer in both the fridge and pantry filled with healthy, and ready-to-go snacks. This saves us from having to go to a drive-thru if we’re in a rush, or out and a about and the kids get hungry.
2. Make mealtime and snack time a part of your routine. We have meals and snacks at around the same time every day. With eating times 2-3 hours apart. My twins typically have their 3 meals a day, with a snack in between each meal. If you stay consistent this will keep your toddler from grazing throughout the day, and teach them to eat when hungry, and stop when full.
3. Avoid giving your toddler juice and milk between meals. Toddler’s stomachs are little and fill up very fast. It’s better to give little ones water to quench their thirst between meals to avoid having them fill up on beverages.
4. Mix up meals and snacks. If you continuously make the same foods kids will get either get sick of eating the food, or the opposite and demand the same foods, refusing to eat anything else.
5. Make food fun! Be creative when making meals and snacks. You don’t have to create a masterpiece meal, it can be as simple as using a cookie cutter to turn things like cheese or bread into fun shapes or giving foods fun names. In our house Borscht is called “Purple Princess Soup”.
6. Continue to introduce new foods and re-introduce previously rejected foods to your toddler. Even though I know my girls don’t currently like certain vegetables, I still include them in snacks and meals just in case one day they decide to re-try the vegetable, and maybe even like it! I grew up disliking mushrooms and now they’re one of my favorite vegetables.
7. Don’t prepare special meals. No parent wants to be treated like a short order cook. Just be sure that there is always one or two things at each meal that your little one will be sure to eat, so that they won’t go hungry. If you continuously cater to a fussy toddlers demands or food related tantrums it turns mealtime into a battleground and creates a vicious cycle.
8. Avoid nutritionally deficient and overly processed snacks and foods. Things like chips, fruit snacks, and pudding are not filling snacks, and are not rich in nutrients. Instead try preparing nutrient dense foods like eggs, yogurt, bananas, or peanut butter.
9. Use sauces and/or condiments. If the only way you can get your child to eat broccoli is to put some cheese sauce on it, then do it. My girls love pesto sauce and it’s their favorite way to eat salmon and chicken. It doesn’t matter to me that I have to add a little pesto to their protein, what matters is that my kids are actually eating the nutritious and protein rich foods.
10. Supplement with Enfagrow A+. Still concerned that your picky eater isn’t getting enough nutrients? Add Enfagrow A+ toddler drinks to daily snacks to ensure your little ones are getting the proper nutrition they need in their diet.
Enfagrow A+ is an everyday toddler drink for 12-36 month olds that contains 26 nutrients, including DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid and important building block of the brain. To learn more about the importance of DHA and brain development visit Your Toddler Magazine. Want your toddler to try it out? Sign up for FREE Samples! Enfagrow A+ is available in milk or vanilla flavor, and comes in a variety of easy and convenient formats, including ready to drink and single serving packets. Curious to know more about Enfagrow A+? Head over to www.enfagrow.ca to learn more, and don’t forget to Sign up for FREE Samples!
Making sure your toddler gets the right nutrition is tough, and sometimes it can feel like an ongoing battle. I’ve been there, and I promise you’re not alone! Just keep trying new foods and new strategies with your toddler, and if all else fails, stock up on Enfagrow A+!
I’d love to hear about any other toddler nutrition tips or tricks you have! If you use the hashtag #EnfagrowMomsKnow on Instagram and/or Twitter to share your toddler stories, pictures, or advice with other moms Enfagrow will donate $1 per submission up to $5000 to United Way until Nov 30, 2017.