Encourage a love of healthy eating with fun food for toddlers! This post has lots of tips and ideas to make eating fun for little ones.
As part of my work with Organix on their No Junk Journey, this month I’m exploring ways to help toddlers discover new tastes and foods.
My kids are aged 5 and 7 now, but looking back at the toddler years reminds me of how they are full of such wonder. During this time in their development, it’s a wonderful opportunity to foster a love of healthy food and the exploration of new tastes and foods.
I know first hand that it's not always easy to encourage toddlers to try new foods, but there are some tricks we can use to help. By making fresh fruits and vegetables available to toddlers in a fun way, we can help them to make healthy choices for life.
Fussy Toddlers and Fun Food
I'd happily presume that every child can be fussy. I don't blame them; it must be a bit scary being handed something unknown and being expected to eat it. Over the years we've been accustomed to accepting new tastes and textures, but they haven't yet.
Toddler taste buds are constantly evolving as well. That can definitely make mealtimes a minefield when suddenly a favourite food is spurned.
I knew I could always count on cucumbers and tomatoes to be eaten on my son's plate. But now? He won't touch them. My daughter loved olives when she was small, but now I can forget about her eating them.
Still, I constantly offer everything. We have a tray with sections on it, so I put a pot of hummus in the middle and fill the sections with various veggies ever dinner time. The kids can be fussy if they want, but they'll still see it all.
Making food fun isn’t just for picky toddlers. It also helps encourage a love of good food in all little ones as they grow older.
Tips and Tricks: Fun Food for Toddlers
There are lots of tips and tricks that we can do to encourage toddlers to try new foods.
Make the food easy to grip
Ensure fruit and veg is a good size for little hands to hold
Cut food into fun character shapes
Sing songs about food
Make food colourful with a rainbow of different fruit and veg
Lead by example and eat a variety of foods yourself
Pancakes are a great way to have fun with food. They're easy to make and most kids love them.
Instead of slathering them in unhealthy toppings, I often make them into animal shapes. I then cut up fruit and veggies and let them decorate them before eating. It's a fun activity and good for them, too!
These bread shapes are a really fun way to bake with kids and let them eat the fruits of their labour.
I make them all the time with my kids and they love creating new shapes. I make a batch of the simple dough and let them roll it like playdough. We have them with soup, dipped in hummus or cut into sandwiches.
Cookie Cutters make fun food
I love using a small cookie cutter to make shapes out of toast, fruit, veggies, sandwiches etc… Kids love anything in a fun shape and should happily tuck in.
I have a stash of shaped cutters and my kids love helping me to cut out shapes!
Organix have loads of ideas for fun foodie activities for toddlers in the infographic below.
Follow the fun and get more healthy food ideas for babies and toddlers using the hashtag #NoJunkJourney
This post is part of my ongoing campaign with Organix as part of the No Junk Journey. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to mess up my kitchen and write Veggie Desserts – Healthy Food and Lifestyle. All photos except bread rolls and infographic courtesy of Pixabay.