As a parent we all know the struggle of feeding your toddler, especially new food. It's important that they get a well balanced diet and one of the most important foods for them to consume are green leafy vegetables. They provide a great source of vitamins and nutrients namely high in calcium, fiber, folate, magnesium and potassium. They're also packed with vitamins A, B, E, C and K. These help with digestion, bone growth, strength and immune system.
We all know it's important but how do we make them eat it? Toddlers are sensitive to new things and are picky with what they like to eat. They prefer sweet food or what they’re used to already. As parents it's our duty to introduce them to as much variety as possible to expand their palate. Doing this makes their taste buds accustomed to different tastes and textures. These are the ways to do it. Remember TIMEPALS.
Take supplements: The easiest way to get your child to consume greens is through supplements. These have plant nutrients conveniently in a small tablet. PPARS tablets have a range of vitamins and minerals made from high grade micro-algae which boosts the immune system and improves brain function. It can easily be crushed and mixed into their milk, food, or as a chewable.
Incorporate greens in their favorite dishes: You can add a special treat to their favorite meal by incorporating one new vegetable. Using their comfort food as a vehicle we can have them try something new. They will be more inclined to try it as it includes something they already like and enjoy.
Make it look appetizing: Cutting veggies into fun shapes like stars or dinosaurs can entice the child to try it as it looks more appetizing
Exposing it to them: Exposing these greens repeatedly makes the toddler familiar with them. The more familiar they are, the more they would be inclined to try it. Seeing it often makes it less scary.
Praise them for trying: Give encouragement and good words for their little accomplishments. It could be picking it up or smelling it. These small steps are important.
Always keep trying: Don't give up if they refuse to try it the first time. It takes repetition to get familiar with something new
Letting them choose: When shopping groceries you can include your child by letting them pick which one they like, get it, and put it in the bag. They are more willing to try when they are involved with the process of choosing. You can also bring them in the food preparation and cooking. You get bonding time with your children as well as the opportunity to expose them to different cooking techniques and be involved in the completion of a dish. It teaches patience, and life skills
Set a good example: A toddler will be more likely to embrace the vegetables if they see you trying it and enjoying yourself in the process. Children mimic what they see their parents do, and after a while they will ask to try it
*Edited by Rez Maninang