A professional nutrition group chat the other day was on healthy recipes for toddlers. I followed the suggested link mostly because it had absolutely the cutest name. SO DISAPPOINTING I won’t be sharing the site.
The recipes wouldn’t have been SO bad if you had a full time cook on staff. The recipes make cooking a meal a day long activity! Why do we make life so hard?
Toddlers should be eating what the rest of the family eats. If your diet isn’t healthy enough for that 2 year old, change your own diet – not his!
The goal at this impressionable age is expanding your child’s palate. While you might as well skip the broccoli for the littlest of guys, offering up carrots (raw, steamed, oven roasted) helps your child learn new tastes and textures.
Understand that a child, like you, won’t be thrilled initially with an unfamiliar food. Have patience with food introduction just as you do with other lessons you’re teaching. Repetition and a good attitude on your part (which means eating the same food with enthusiasm) helps your child.
The site’s second disastrous recommendation was to buy toddler food pouches. Ridiculous! Babies are born knowing how to suck, so pouches teach nothing. At this tender age we’re trying to exercise the muscles of the mouth to be able to swallow semi-solid masses. That, in turn, gets your child ready to babble!
Your child is learning small motor control; what better practice than holding a spoon or a food?
While a pouch is convenient, the message you’re sending is we’re too busy to sit down and enjoy our food. We’ll eat in the car!
Finally, these pouches combine foods; one was carrots, apples and parsnips. So you’ll be teaching your child nothing about taste, color or texture of any of those three foods while highlighting that adding sugar to anything improves the taste!
Enjoy food along with your toddler. Give them a seat, a spoon and a single food to be well.