Tasty tips for including fruit and vegetablesFruit and vegetables should be part of every meal to help your toddler get the full range of vitamins they need for this stage of rapid and incredible development.
Of course, toddlers don’t necessarily always want to eat what you give them, but rather than sneaking foods in by disguising them in soups and sauces, try getting creative to help your toddler learn to love their fruit and vegetables.
Here are our top tips for making fruit and vegetables a firm favourite:
- If your toddler refuses a vegetable, try it in a different recipe or cook it in a different way. Stir-frying, roasting and baking are all easy, and adding flavours like onion and garlic can make food more tasty.
- The same goes for fruit – different shapes can be a lot more fun and appealing to little ones.
- Add veggies to casseroles and meat dishes. If your toddler doesn’t seem to like chunks, try grating vegetables instead.
- Fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit and vegetables are all great options. Variety and colour is the key to getting the balance right.
- Offer a choice to make your toddler feel in control. “Do you want the banana or the apple?” can have a lot more success than “Please eat your banana”.
- Make ice-pops out of fruit pureés to help your toddler reach their 5-a-day when it’s hot outside.
- Keep frozen fruit on hand in the freezer, just in case you run out of fresh varieties. Just defrost for a healthy snack or add into a smoothie.
- Smoothies are a great way to pack lots of fruit into a yummy drink. Simply blend whatever fruit you have with milk or yogurt.
- Fruit and veg are great for snacktimes. Try sticks of raw or steamed veggies with houmous, cottage cheese or another dip. Add fresh fruit to your toddler’s favourite yogurt.
- Fresh fruit is a healthier option than fruit juice. But if you do serve up some vitamin C-rich juice, choose pure, unsweetened varieties, dilute them with 1 part juice to 4 or 5 parts water and avoid giving them in between meals, which can lead to tooth decay.
- Remember, it can take lots of tries before your toddler decides to like a certain food. So if they refuse something one day, try again another time, and keep on trying!
Being a healthy exampleToddlers learn so much from what other people are doing, especially their mummy and daddy. So if you eat plenty of fruit and veg, you’ll encourage them to eat more too.
If you feel stuck in a recipe rut, check out some of our tasty baby recipes that include a wide variety of fresh foods. They’ve been created with babies and toddlers in mind, but are also great for the whole family!