Is your toddler going through a [insert latest favourite food craze here] phase? Think about how they want to hear the same song on repeat and play with the same toy, all day, every day.
Eating the same foods every day is just another version of this. So, while we can helplessly blame this on a toddler’s love for routine and repetition, as parents, there are few things we can do to make these phases as healthy as possible.
Up the Nutrition
Bread, cheese, potatoes: whatever the food, be sure to always offer up the most nutritious option or version of that food. For example, leave the skin on the potatoes, a valuable source of nutrients and fibre, offer up wholewheat pasta or whole grain bread, or choose sugar- and salt-free peanut butter (may contain allergens). A good tip for starches like pasta, bread or cereal is to be guided by the food label. Aim to choose a starch product that has more than 6g of fibre per 100g, as this is defined as a high fibre food.
Feeding your little one Squish 100% Fruit and Veg purees you can rest assured you are giving your little one the best. Squish is preservative-free, colourant free, flavourant free and contains no added starch, what’s more, they come in a convenient pouch perfect for meal-times or on-the-go-snacks.
It is a good idea to offer up the favourite food in a variety of textures, as and where possible. This will at least allow for your little one to be exposed to various textures of foods at this time, which is important for motor and oral development. For example, bread can be toasted and cut into fingers or triangles or offered as a softer, round bread roll. Potatoes can be cut into chunks or mashed, and you can mix small, diced pieces of banana or strawberries into yoghurt.
Try adding a Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Puree to a small dish and get your little one to dip their finger foods into it.
Good news for moms with slightly older babies and toddlers – Squish 100% fruit and yoghurt purees now come in a new, bigger toddler-friendly 200ml pack for growing babies with growing appetites. The bigger pouch size means you can serve your toddler a full meal or snack in one handy serving, as their appetites increase, in a convenient pouch format. The Squish 200ml bigger pouch range comes in 6 delicious fruit and yoghurt flavours, are free from colourants, flavourants and preservatives, and are ideal for your little one’s growing needs.
Focus on a variety of flavours with this food, both to challenge the taste buds and offer a nutrient variety. For example, if the bread is your toddler’s current favourite you could dip in egg to up the protein and make French Toast or serve up peanut butter and banana sandwiches with added healthy fats. You can mix pureed veg like carrot into mashed potato or try different types of cheese, from softer Mozzarella to stronger Cheddar.
Make them scrumptious fluffy and warm breakfast flapjacks filled with sweet, hidden fruits and yoghurt: https://squish.co.za/quick-easy-recipes/sweet/apple-banana-flapjacks/
Patience makes Perfect
Throughout this time, keep presenting your toddler with other healthy foods at mealtime, as well as the favourite food. According to research, between 8 and 10 exposures to food may be needed before a child is willing to try it. This means that patience is key when getting through these phases of food obsessions.
Like all things, it is comforting to know that this too shall pass, and it is unlikely that your little human’s current food obsession will have any long-term negative health effects. If you are concerned, speak to a registered dietitian or pediatric nurse for more helpful advice.