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TOPIC:   How to get a Toddler to Enjoy Healthy Meals? 


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SUMTHINGSPECIAL
SUMTHINGSPECIAL's Photo SparkPoints: (11,608)
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2/14/13 9:58 A

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One thing I have learned is that if a child is given food - whatever food that may be - they will more likely enjoy it. However, if you don't have healthy food available to them while growing up - they might not like it. My children always were given healthier foods to eat (and time to time less healthy options). They love things like most vegetables - grains - and fruit. One time we went to someone's house and they had the choice to eat cake or an apple and my daughter wanted to eat the apple (yes, I was shocked). My children never drink soda (they don't like it - they claim it makes them more thirsty) or juices - they prefer water. When they were younger - juices, etc. were only relegated to special occasions and water was mostly given. So, it is their habit to drink it - and love it. It is only because of the food environment they were raised in. My youngest is a bit more of a picky eater emoticon - but that doesn't mean she refuses to eat healthy - but she does have her preferences.

We have had our moments in eating less healthy food when time was an issue - so we ate out. The amazing thing is that since we usually eat more fiber, vegetables, fruits - we really notice how our bodies act differently depending on what you eat. I always tell the kids it is like putting gas in your car - the quality of the gas does make a difference.

We are nowhere near perfect - we still eat unhealthy food sometimes (although we are trying to make sure we always have healthier options) - but our habit is to eat healthier. My children have a great appreciate for foods - different styles - different flavors - different ingredients. With that, I am truly fortunate. So - start as soon as you can, because timing can make all the difference! There is hope though - because my parents raised my on McDonalds foods and everything processed. I now have learned to enjoy making healthier foods that are delicious. There is hope. emoticon

* * Sumay * *

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IMREITE
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1/10/13 10:46 P

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make it a game. when i used to watch my cousins or my youngest sister it was sometimes hard to get them to eat, as long as meal time was not made into a fight it was generally doable.


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BRAVELUTE
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9/2/12 9:46 A

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I love the idea of including toddler in decisions, cooking, taste testing of new items, AND trying new tastes in the guise of pizza. I have just found Josephs pita bread (flax and other ingredients figure into the name). And I am using them to create new things for me to try, not always with tomato base. Sometimes I use greek yogurt, sometimes I use cream cheese which I microwave to soften to be able to spread.

This allows me to use many different combinations of bits and pieces that I might not usually combine. Sprinkle on small amounts of cheese or a meat and the fruits and veggies become the stars and the cheese and meats become the supporting cast.



Even older kids might be more apt to try new things it it is put in the format of a pizza.

Example:
http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2202946 This one reminds me that you might also have the toddler name the meal. Wheelies might be a better name for this from the toddler's perspictive which could become "Big Rig Pizza."

http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2202877 And this one could become breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.

Experiment and play around with nutrition. Distract your toddler with the word games and test kitchen and the delicious flavors will win.

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READINGACE
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8/27/12 1:22 P

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You might like this website: Graciouspantry.com. It is done by a woman with a toddler. She calls him mini chef and she lets him help with food prep. He's also a taste tester for her healthy inventions.

Lot's of luck,
-Ace.



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JHUSTO01
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8/27/12 11:06 A

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Thanks! He does chicken nuggets and pizza, so maybe I'll look for some recipes for those. :)

~~Jamie~~


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PUDINTANE68
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8/27/12 11:03 A

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You can still make him his favorite things, just make a healthy version of it. Like... if he wants chicken nuggets use cut up chicken breast and a low fat coating. Then bake them instead of deep frying... You could add some baked sweet potato fries...or if he likes pizza make homemade pizza. Maybe even let him help make it. He will be more apt to try it if he helped. You can find lots of ways to cut fat and calories with homemade pizza and you can make fun faces using veggies for toppings. You might find he likes your version better and then you can all enjoy a healthy meal without having to make yours seperate to cut calories. I found with my kids a lot of times it was in the way I served it to them. If I acted like I was eating something really good and I would let them have some, they wanted it more. You can also sneak in healthy things on the side. Applesauce can be healthy if you watch what you are buying or make it yourself. Try a good low fat dip with some fresh veggies. It might take him some time to get used to it, but he will come around. Hope this helps.


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JHUSTO01
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8/27/12 9:19 A

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My son is 3 and a very picky eater. He loves spagetti and anything processed. Any suggestions or tips on how I can cook healthy meals even he will like?

~~Jamie~~


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