It is very important to introduce healthy food as early in a child’s life as possible. Our habits form at the youngest age and what we learn to like as kids will probably stick later in life. Snacks, especially those that are store-bought and not made at home, unfortunately contain high percent of sugars, and if the child gets used to so much sweets and develops a taste for sugary foods, it will be hard to kick that habit later in life, when it becomes a question of good health.
There are many recipes and ideas for healthy yet tasty food parents can offer to their toddlers, and here are some of them.
Toddles need fresh fruit as well as vegetables in order to get all the nutrients important for their growth. Many toddlers dislike fruit and prefer a candy bar instead, which is why it is important to try to sneak in some fruit every day, so they may develop a taste for it.
Simple apple slices, possibly with some peanut butter spread on top, are and excellent source of vitamins, and with peanut butter they get enough carbs and fats too. Some kids hate the peel, so it can be removed, although apple peel is a good source of dietary fiber. Apple slices are handy and they are not messy.
Fresh berries are another interesting option. Toddlers usually like them for their shape and the fact they are so small. Blackberries, raspberries, currants and any other kid of berries is good, although with strawberries the parents should be careful and monitor the child for possible signs of allergy.
Fruit like watermelon (which is not technically a fruit), cantaloupe, honey dew melon, kiwi, pears, mango and others can be sliced in funny shapes, making it more appealing for the toddler.
Organic fruit is always the better choice. Organic food is not hard to find these days, there are many specialized stores and there is always the Farmer’s Market.
Crackers and cereals
When a toddler grows his or her teeth, crackers will be high on the list of favorite food. Whole grain crackers are always better. Graham crackers are very tasty when dipped in yogurt, and this combination in particularly nutritious because it provides the benefits of both wheat and dairy.
Toddlers can eat dry cereals like Cheerios or Kix straight from the bowl. This minimizes the mess if they carry the bowl around with them. Parents can throw in some raisins or dried cranberries as well.
High quality brands of cereal bars, especially organic, are healthy and handy and some brands offer a toddlers variety which is softer and more suitable for their tiny teeth.
Many toddlers just hate vegetables. Parents can “trick” them by adding green leafy veggies into smoothies, or slice it up in convenient shapes like sticks or cubes. Also, if the child likes quesadillas, some finely chopped vegetables like carrots, spinach or tomatoes can be added to chicken and cheese meals.