I remember before I became I parent I had all these ideas of what kind of mom I was going to be. To my surprise, many I followed through and many were completely new to me. For example, I knew I wanted our son to not just eat nutritious but organic. Since I was staying at home, I was going to make his puree during the baby years. Sure enough I did! And while now that he is a toddler, he still mainly eats home cooked meals, I let him indulge in snacks mommy has not made. Now it wasn’t always so easy. The temptation to snack on empty food choices is real. Specially if mommies initiates 🙈. So with time I discovered these 5 ways to ensure my toddler can get the nutrition he needs.
1. Strategic food placement.
There’s a reason grocery stores do this y’all! Think about it, aside from meals, do you want your child mindlessly eating while watching cartoons? We know we pack snacks to go to prevent cranky kids outside of the house. However try to think outside of the box. Where are your kids most active? Where are they burning the most calories where they need to re-fuel? Here’s an idea. I keep snacks in the playroom. Often my son is so distracted with his Legos or running around his basketball hoop that he doesn’t think about whether he’s hungry or not. So when he sees his favorite snack he’ll stop for quick bites. Mom of course is also ready with some water in a sippy cup. Which leads me to my next way.
2. Offer water with every meal, snack, occasion.
Yes I give my son chocolate milk or orange juice or lemonade but right next to is a sippy cup filled with water. And yes, my son will always choose it second but he always ends with drinking water. Even if it’s because mommy snuck the other one out-of-the-way half way through the meal. Lol Seriously everywhere we go I ask for a cup of water for him. He’s now used to it and will actually crave and ask for water when he sees it.
3. Be smart about your snack options
We lean on organic for many reasons. I do read labels a lot and while I am not super strict, I gravitate towards nutritious snacks like Gerber Organic Veggie Crips. The are made with whole grains and real veggies! They contain only 35 mg of sodium per serving. Did you known the leading veggie/chip snack contains 105 mg? The Gerber Organic Veggie Crisps come in 2 variety packs; Orange Harvest and Farmer greens. Get $1 off to try them here.
4. Persistence is key!
My son, I’m afraid will be/is a picky eater. At first he rejects many foods. I come to find out, when offered a second time, he accepts them! I can’t tell you how many times this has happened. So bust out with those veggies mama’s!
5. Appropriate timing
Specially as a nursing mama, I also have to be strategic on when to offer meals and snacks. So my son gets the most nutrition of every meal and snack, he has to be hungry! I try and wait 2 hours after be has nursed to give and offer food to him. Same with naps. My son isn’t very hungry after naps. Some kids are! Accommodate to their appetites and get the most out of that window of opportunity.
What works for your toddler?