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No More Food Fights

Snack plates for afternoon tea

Toddlers and food are often a very difficult combination. It often leads to mess, tears (from child and parent) and dry toast for dinner. As parents, we all envisage our children eating a rainbow of healthy foods. We have the best intentions and really try to make this a reality when we introduce those first foods. However, most mums I speak to have difficulties to get their child to eat the right foods, particularly in the toddler years.

Where do we go wrong? What changes in our children? How can we give them the nutrition they need? Is there an easier way?

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules that will miraculously make your child love healthy foods. However, there are a few tips and tricks that I have used to help their nutritional intake, as well as educating them to start making the right decisions on their own. I am not a nutrition expert, nor are my children perfect eaters (Cristian is pretty close). I do, however, work really hard to give them the best possible foods and have had to put in some extra effort and tricks into Sofia’s eating.

So let’s break this down into ages and stages. The following are recommendations I followed from my Maternal and Child Health Nurse and Paediatrician. It is always recommended that you speak to your own professionals before beginning to introduce foods to your child, especially if there are any known allergies in your family.

Stage 1

Introducing solids (between 4 – 6 months)

For both of my children, it was recommended to me to begin solids at 4 months of age. I know this may vary for different children, so please check with your health care provider first.

Although the variety of foods introduced at this age isn’t very exciting, I tried to find a range of different vegetables to develop their palates. I decided that the first few foods I’d introduce would be vegetables rather than fruits. I felt this would stop them from only wanting sweet things. This was purely a choice I made and it didn’t necessarily make a big difference to Sofia’s eating. I would head down to my local fruit and vegetable shop and source a range of different vegetables, some that even I hadn’t tried before. I gave them parsnips, swede, turnips and beetroot along with the usual broccoli, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin.