Preparing meals for toddlers [aka living with 3 of them] often presents a struggle of getting them to eat AND enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables. I grew up and still have a diet that involves variety, as food and eating have always been a fun experience for me. I know it’s not the same for others [especially toddlers], and that finding ONE fruit and vegetable to “like” is not always an easy task. But let me tell you, once you find that one fruit or vegetable, you’ll likely find a few more to like and enjoy too. So here are a few tips for discovering your “introductory produce” to start eating healthier:
Learn to prepare it.
Wash, peel, and maybe slice or dice. Your child may be more willing to eat sliced fruits and vegetables than whole ones.
Try preparing it a different way.
Broil, boil, roast, sauté, steam, fry, grill, bake, in a stir-fry, with a dip, in a sauce, or just leave them plain and raw. Each offers a new way to enjoy the fruit or veggie!
Don’t go overboard at one meal and expect to like EVERYTHING.
It is going to take time and you don’t want to overwhelm your child. Choose one or two fruits or vegetables to try a day or week, and continue until you find something they like.
Change your own attitude and be open to trying something new.
Your child might not like what you like, so be open to trying new fruits and vegetables and ways to prepare them. Who knows, maybe you will find a new food you like!
Have your child choose what fruit or vegetable they want to try at the store.
Get your kids involved. Maybe they will think the process is more fun and exciting if they get a say in what they are eating.
Play with the colors.
Make a colorful fruit salad or mixed vegetable side. Your kids will be more attracted to the colorful food and more willing to try them.