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Nurturing Healthy Habits: How to Make the Best of Meal Times with Your Toddlers & Pre-Schoolers

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” - Proverbs 22:6 NIV
In the whirlwind of parenting, meal times can often become battlegrounds, especially when you're dealing with picky eaters. As moms, we all want to ensure our little ones are getting the nutrition they need to thrive and grow. But how can we navigate this terrain successfully? Fear not, dear moms, for I come bearing tips and tricks to help you make the most out of meal times with your toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Proverbs 22:6 reminds us of the importance of starting children off on the right path, and what better way to do so than by instilling healthy eating habits early on?

Here's how you can make meal times a positive and nourishing experience for your little picky eaters.
1. Embrace Variety: One of the keys to ensuring balanced nutrition is by offering a diverse range of foods at meal times. From fruits and vegetables to whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy, incorporating a variety of options ensures your child receives a spectrum of essential nutrients.

2. Limit Sugary Snacks: While the occasional treat is fine, it's important to limit sugary snacks and instead focus on providing age-appropriate, nutritious options. Opt for snacks that are not only tasty but also contribute to your child's overall well-being.

3. Make Meals Fun and Interesting: Transform meal times into enjoyable experiences by getting creative with presentation and incorporating fun elements. From arranging food in playful shapes to involving your little ones in meal preparation, making meals visually appealing can pique their interest and encourage them to try new things.

4. Offer Savory and Sweet Courses: Providing both savory and sweet courses with main meals offers your child multiple opportunities to consume nutrients. This not only expands their palate but also ensures they receive a balanced diet.

5. Consider Timing: Pay attention to your child's energy levels and avoid serving main meals before nap times, as tiredness can affect their appetite. Opt for meal times when your child is most alert and receptive to eating.

6. Respect Preferences and Be Patient: Understand that picky eating is often a phase and respect your child's preferences while gently encouraging exploration of new foods. Remember, tastes evolve over time, so continue offering a variety of foods and be patient with the process.

As moms, we're all in this together, navigating the ups and downs of parenting one meal at a time.

Do you have a picky eater at home? Or perhaps you've discovered some tried-and-tested strategies to encourage healthy eating habits in your little ones?

Share your wisdom and tips in the comments below. Let's support each other on this journey of nurturing healthy habits and raising happy, well-nourished children.

Bon appétit, dear moms! 🍽️💕

Written by: Ezinne Eziagu

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