"Preschooler nutrition" is a word that I Google often. Why? My top two reasons.
- Am I feeding my child the right kind of food?
- Am I the only one engaged in this nutrition battle with my preschooler ?
Since we introduced solids to my son, one thing was clear to us and my son. There will be absolutely NO bribes involved for eating. You eat because it is healthy and you need the nutrition to grow. Period. And we stuck with the explanation, all through. Thanks to our honest explanation in laying out the facts barely, my son can now look at the "nutrition facts" and talk to me about why a product is good or bad.
Getting kids to eat the right food that their body needs can be tough. But here are somethings that I learned. We've tested them and they work for us:
- Lead by example - If you want your kids to eat broccoli, you eat them first and continue to eat it. Your children adopt your eating habits starting from very early in life.
- Keep junk food OUT of the house - We never eat at the fast food joints and my son never has. He doesn't crave for it at home as he has not seen us stocking them up at home.
- Offer the same food several times. They will eventually eat it. Resist the urge to cater to their every demand at the table.
- Toddlers will make a mess - Do not make kids nervous at the table by putting too much importance on table manners. If they can focus on eating a balanced meal, they will develop well and will catch up with table manners.
- Limit the time kids watch television - It has a direct impact on their appetite. Not only do they get obese but studies show that the ads filled with high sugar foods makes very young children crave for it more. An article I read recently mentioned this: "Television advertising, even if watched with the best explanations of commercial messages, does present a serious obstacle to your preschooler’s good nutrition"
We often cannot do it all right all the time and hence need healthy snacks, drinks and some nutritionally acceptable back-ups. Nutritional gaps are inevitable for toddlers as they tend to be picky. I know there are lot of options out there but educating my child on what is good and why it is unacceptable to buy foods soaked in oil and sugar is my responsibility.
One of my "trusted" brands of choice has been Gerber. I like the fact that they keep the health of their little clients in mind . To fill in some nutritional gaps, one product that I have tried and my son likes is the Toddler Drink from Gerber. It has a nice vanilla flavor and a creamy taste.
My son prefers it when I make it with water. Mixing it with milk makes it way too creamy and thick for him to drink. It tastes perfect when prepared with water.
While fresh fruits, yogurt, cheese and other healthy snacks are the best options, they are hard to take while on-the go. I love the lil crunchies and puffs that Gerber makes. They are great for little ones to pick up and they melt in the mouth.
We buy this a lot when my son gets sick as these snacks digest easily and they are also easy to swallow.No preservatives too! Always have a couple of puffs and lil crunchies in our car within an arm's reach.
I do see these snacks going in my preschooler's lunch box. He loves how easy they are to pick up and eat, without any mess.
Nothing beats a fresh, home cooked meal. But those days when you need other options, here's a little healthier option for your little toddler. Remember, this Gerber Graduates meal should not replace what you offer them at home due to their sodium content. But I do find Gerber Graduates meal a whole lot better than other ready-to-serve meal options for toddlers.
Conclusion, while we may try our best to offer the right kind of foods, there will be days when our kids will win and we loose. I can affirm that Gerber Graduates has some variety of choices even for the pickiest toddler and they have been a healthy source of nutrition for my child.
Gerber Canada wants to offer one lucky Canadian reader the chance to win this Gerber Graduates “Go-Go-Go” Nutrition Prize Pack worth approximately $90.
It contains Gerber Graduates Toddler Drink, the milk-based nutritional supplement made specifically for children one to three years old which contains essential vitamins and minerals that your child needs in just one glass. A selection of Gerber Graduates Puffs, Yogurt Melts, Lil’ Crunchies and 5 Grain Cereals are provided for busy families looking for nutritious options for on-the-go lifestyles.