As a family, we think it is important to establish a healthy eating routine. Our Monkey can be very fussy with food, so it’s important for him to know what to expect from meal times.
It is incredibly important to make sure children eat fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, but it can be extremely challenging at times. We think that offering fresh vegetables whilst weaning encourages them to be more drawn towards healthy foods, whether you are practicing Baby Led weaning or using purées.
Work towards a healthy eating routine.
Make meal times, quiet times. We have found M tends to be a lot fussier if there is a lot going on around him. Sometimes it can cause a tense atmosphere, which has a negative effect on his eating habits. So we now try to give him dinner when the house is quiet. If we are unable to, we find somewhere to escape so he can eat in peace.
Try not to make too much fuss about the food in front of children. If we leave finger foods in front of M and continue to talk as a family, most of the time he will try it and enjoy his dinner, however if we try to encourage him to eat something too much, he becomes more and more frustrated. It can be frustrating at times when they are fussy but persevere and try to hand them the control.
Prepare snacks, fruit and veggies for your little one to nibble on during days out. We like to make sure we carry healthy options for M to eat when out and about. This helps establish consistency and prevents you being restricted by choices in places where there aren’t too many healthy options.
Smoothies and juices are great, tasty way of getting lots of fruit and vegetables into your little ones. Juicers can be purchased very cheaply, ours cost only £25 from Argos. We have a great recipe for a carrot, apple and lemon or orange juice, which is delicious.
Juice – 4 large carrots
2 large juicy, sweet red apples
1 lemon or an orange
There are lots of amazing recipes out there to try and juices can also be frozen into ice pops for hot days. They will have no idea it is made mostly from carrots.
Hide the vegetables within the dinner. Tomato sauces are an excellent way of cramming in lots of lovely sweet vegetables. A tomato sauce can be used for so many dinners. Roast some tomatoes, sweet peppers, aubergine and courgette in the oven with a drizzle of oil. Once soft add a tin or two of chopped tomatoes (depending on the amount of veg you have prepared) and blend. Season to taste, if it is a little bitter add a small spoon of stevia to sweeten. Tomato sauces aren’t meant to taste sweet, so only use a small amount and taste, it’s a trick to take the bitter edge off. You could even add a few herbs or spices to the sauce for extra flavour. All that goodness will be hidden from sight. Make up a big batch and freeze for another day. I like to make up some pancakes, add a tablespoon of the sauce in the middle, sprinkle on some cheese and roll. It’s yummy and healthy.
Sometimes changes in your child’s diet could cause loose stools which can lead to nappy rash. When we travelled abroad with M at Christmas, a lot of the fruit he enjoyed was quite acidic which could have left him with a sore bottom but phew thankfully I was prepared and we protected his skin with Metanium everyday barrier ointment avoiding nappy rash on this occasion!
It’s always important to lead by example. If your children see you eating healthily, they will be more inclined to follow your healthy routine.
Do you have any suggestions on how to form a good healthy eating routine?
This is a sponsored post for Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment, commissioned as part of my role as an official Emma’s Diary blogger.