Fruit and vegetables are key to a balanced, healthy diet, but we all know that sometimes getting your toddler to enjoy them can be a challenge. Here’s exactly why fruit and veg are so important and sneaky ways to get your toddler to eat – and enjoy! – them.
If you’re having trouble getting your toddler to gobble up their fruit and veg, you’re not alone. Between the ages of two and six it isn’t unusual for little ones to get a little more picky about the foods they are willing to try. But fruit and veg are an important part of a balanced diet – they boost immunity, provide important roughage, and are packed full of vitamins and minerals. In short, they ensure your child’s healthy growth and development, promote good health, and protect against diseases.
So, how can you get your child to eat more of nature’s bounty? Try these tricks:
Sneak veg into sauces and their favourite foods
Next time you’re making a pasta sauce, meatballs, cottage pie, or even mac and cheese, add a little veg to the mix. It won’t alter the taste and will ensure that your little one is getting a good dose of veg. Let Squish 100% Veg Puree be your secret weapon. Packed full of veggie goodness, Squish pouches have a convenient resealable lid which means you can use what you need to add some veggies to sauces and meals, then just pop the lid back on, put it in the fridge and use again for another meal.
Choose from Squish 100% Butternut + Carrot, Butternut + Carrot + Sweet Potato, and Mixed Veg. Looking for recipe inspiration? Your toddler will love this quick and easy veggie-packed Pasta Sauce.
Slushies are fun and delicious – and when they’re made from Squish 100% Pressed Juice you can rest easy knowing your little one is getting a good serving of fruity goodness too. Simply keep a selection of Squish juice boxes in the freezer, then when you need a slushie, remove and let it defrost slightly, then serve – it’s as easy as that! Squish 100% Pressed Juices are made from 100% fruit, are preservative free, and come in a range of thirst-quenching flavours, including Apple, Apple + Prune with Rooibos Extract, Pear + Prune, and Summer Berries.
Finger foods lend themselves well to dipping and are always a firm favourite with toddlers. Dips are also an easy way to sneak a serving of veg into your toddler’s meal. Add a pouch of Squish 100% Veg Puree to a tub of cottage cheese or cream cheese, or blitz together with a can of drained chickpeas. Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Purees are free of preservatives, flavourants and colourants – and have no added sugar. This is also a good opportunity to offer your child raw vegetables cut into strips or fun shapes for dipping.
Try cucumber, red or yellow pepper, or carrots. Remember children often have to try a new taste several times before they’ll eat it with enthusiasm, so keep trying!
4. Get smoothie-licious
When you have a stash of Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Puree pouches in your pantry, a delicious smoothie packed full of natural goodness is just a quick blitz away. Smoothies are a great addition to breakfast and are also good to add to your little one’s packed lunch. To make, simply add a pouch of Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Puree to a cup of natural yoghurt (or you can use half milk, half yoghurt) and blitz. Remember, you can use the veggie flavours too, especially Squish 100% Pear, Butternut, Yoghurt + Mango with Cinnamon, Pear + Sweet Potato or Apple, Beetroot + Guava.
Bake them in!
Every toddler loves a baked treat – but did you know they’re also a great way to sneak a little more fruit and veg into their diet? The next time you’re making your favourite muffin or pancake batter mix substitute the sugar with any Squish 100% Fruit Puree like Squish Summer Berries or Mango + Banana to take them to the next level of nutritious deliciousness. Double the batch, so you can freeze halve – that way you’ll always have delicious snacks on hand for mid-afternoon treats and lunchbox fillers.
You’ll also want to try this Chocolate Brownie recipe – your little one will never guess that they’re packed with veggies and fruit!