Did you know that you can influence your child’s taste buds from when you are pregnant? Starting much earlier than we realised, your baby gulps amniotic fluid in your womb and this healthy eating journey continues during breastfeeding, too.
While these opportunities may have passed by the time you have a baby and toddler, it is good to know that there are still practical ways to help the not-so-exploratory little tastebuds discover the wonderful and varied world of flavours.
The Spice of Life
Gone are the days of boring, bland, and tasteless foods for babies and toddlers. Just like adults, our little ones, too, appreciate flavourful food. It is important that, soon after starting your solid journey, you introduce a range of flavours such as fresh herbs (e.g. mint, basil, thyme, etc.), mixed dried herbs, cinnamon, cumin, curry, garlic, cocoa powder, and the like. Sugar-free nut butter also packs a flavour punch, but always check for allergies first. Stir into a warm bowl of oats in winter or offer up on a slice of wholewheat toast as a snack.
Luckily for busy moms, Squish 100% fruit and veg purees come in a range of delicious flavours so exploring many different flavours from baby, toddler and up will be easy for your little one with Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Purees.
Mealtime = Fun Time
Children eat with their eyes. Make mealtimes fun, interesting and appealing. Call in the help of your child’s favourite superhero or princess with colourful kiddie-friendly cups, plates, utensils, placemats, and lunch boxes. Cut and arrange assorted coloured fruit and vegetables into interesting shapes and funny faces. Use cookie cutters on wholegrain sandwiches or arrange mashed sweet potato into fun shapes.
Squish 100% fruit and veg purees come in a convenient pouch which is safe for your little one to explore eating on their own. Squish is a convenient, tasty meal or a snack, or for older kids, try it on the side for dipping – they’re sure to love it.
As any parent can attest, it is a daily struggle to get children to eat their fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are some of nature’s most perfect foods: rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibre, highly nutritious for preventing illness and disease and overall health. To encourage variety, print a picture of a rainbow and place on the fridge or in your child’s room. Encourage your child to choose a fruit or veggie each day from a different colour of the rainbow. For example, tomatoes and watermelon are red, berries and beetroot are purple, and mangoes and carrots are orange
Rewards systems like using star charts to mark off how many fruit and vegetables are eaten are also a fun game for your child. Place somewhere visible and offer your child a reward when a goal is reached, such as going to the park or an extra story at night before bed.
Another fun way to get your child to eat fruit and veg is by offering them Squish 100% fruit and veg purees and pressed 100% fruit and veg juices. The convenient pouches are well-loved amongst mommies and are perfect for babies from the first introduction of solids, right through the weaning process – from babies to toddlers and beyond. And the 100% fruit and veg pressed juices are deliciously refreshing and a good way to get babies, toddlers and young kids to enjoy fruit and veg.
Get Green Fingers
Children love being outside and getting their hands dirty. Use this to your advantage and build a vegetable garden. If you do not have a garden, windowsills and vertical/hanging gardens are good alternatives. With your child, plant various herbs and vegetables, and, when ready to be harvested, pick the vegetable with your toddler.
Older toddlers and young children will enjoy being in the kitchen. Let your children watch you prepare family meals and talk to them about what you are cooking. Let them help you set the table, stir ingredients in plastic bowls, and older children can help chop soft vegetables like baby marrow with a butter knife.
One at a Time
As much as we want to encourage a variety of flavours, it is important to introduce new foods and previously disliked foods one at a time. Children are naturally wary of anything unfamiliar.
Always offer up new food with well-liked food to help increase your child’s acceptance of the food. Remember, it can take up to 15 exposures of food before your child likes it, so keep being patient and keep trying. And if all else fails, there is always the Squish 100% fruit and veg puree range with enough delicious flavours to please even the fussiest of eaters.