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Nothing can be more of challenge than trying to get your toddler to eat a well-balanced diet. You may be ready to scream because your toddler only wants to eat their favorite foods. Here are some ways to help encourage your toddler to eat a more well-rounded meal.
Make Eating Fun
Eating can seem like a chore when it interrupts your playtime. As a parent, you have to put the fun back into snacks and meals. This may mean that you prepare food in a fun and inventive manner. Have your toddler help you with meal preparation. Let them sample all of the ingredients. They may find that they have a new favorite food during this time. Break out the cookie cutters to get your toddler to try a new type of vegetable. Taking the stress out of eating can make your toddler more open to trying new foods.
Don’t Forget the Protein
Many parents focus so much on getting their kids to eat their vegetables that they forget about the meat. A part of any healthy diet is to include all of the food groups. It may be easier for younger children to eat meats that have a built in handle. Consider serving pork chops, ribs, and drumsticks to your toddler. Other types of meat like chicken salami can be fun and adventurous to try out. Then they can have fun eating their meal, and you can feel good about them eating a healthy diet.
Letting your toddler snack all day can leave them not feeling hungry when it comes time for meals. Having scheduled mealtimes can cut down on the food battles at the table. It will also encourage them to eat what you serve them. A hungry toddler is less likely to be picky about the types of food that you’re serving. Pairing this with allowing your toddler to eat how much and what they want may give them the confidence to try new things.
Include a Variety
Having a well rounded diet means that there is a variety of foods available. Focus on healthy snacks and meals that don’t provide empty calories. Make sure to hit all of the food groups for each meal. Your toddler may insist on the same choices for each meal. Let them have a little control in this regard as long as their choice is healthy. Have other types of foods available as well for when they start to feel a little more adventurous.
The best way to encourage a well rounded diet for your toddler is to only offer healthy food choices. They will add to their repertoire as they get older.