Introducing healthy eating habits to your child at an early age is essential for their lifelong wellbeing – and it’s not all about cutting out sugar, it’s also about prioritising nutrient-dense foods that benefit mental and physical health. We’ll be sharing our tried-and-true tips to get your toddler enjoying nourishing meals.
As a parent, it can be quite a challenge to create sugar-free meals that are not only healthy but also appealing to kids. But with a little planning, you can make delicious, flavoursome meals that not just your toddler, but the whole family will love. Here are some simple tips to get you started on the journey to nurturing healthy eating habits in your toddler.
Cook with whole foods
The first step to making sugar-free meals is to start with age-appropriate whole foods. From the age of 6 months, toddlers are all set to eat whole foods, but you may want to ensure it passes the “squish” test. This is where you test if you can squish the food between your fingers – if it gives, it’s safe to eat. Whole foods are loaded with nutrients that far exceed that of their refined counterparts, from fibre to B vitamins, protein and iron – all of which are beneficial for development in toddlers. Whole grains, legumes, nut, seeds, fruit and veggies are all great starting points, and you can make a range of fun dishes from them – think curries, soups, dips and casseroles. unprocessed, and they are packed with nutrients that are beneficial for your child's health.
Get your toddler involved in the process
Your toddler will enjoy eating their meals more when they’ve had a hand in making them – and despite their age, they’re more than capable of whipping up a storm. Of course, it’s important to be in the kitchen with them to supervise and prevent any accidents with heat or electricity. But simple things like mixing salads, putting ingredients on skewers and plating veggies and dip are all easy and fun things they can get involved in. They’ll also get to develop an interest in the culinary world, which sets them up for a future of healthy cooking rather than relying on ready-made meals and takeaway. Toddlers love to help and are more than capable of contributing to the meal prepping, grocery shopping and cooking processes.
Add spices and herbs
Feel like your food is lacking in flavour? It’s time to hit the spice drawer. Cinnamon, curry powder, turmeric and paprika are all great additions to spice up a meal. If your toddler isn’t keen on spicy flavours, herbs like dill and thyme can add taste that’s milder, but no less delicious! Consider adding cinnamon and cardamom to your oatmeal or parsley and rosemary to your veggies.
Make fun snacks
Snacks are just as important as the main event meals like brekkie, lunch and dinner – especially for toddlers! Using snacks as the gateway to developing their tastes is a smart way to set them up for a life of enjoying nourishing foods. Offer your kids yoghurt, roast sweet potato and curried chickpeas to get them enjoying sugar-free snacks.
Be consistent and patient
Getting your toddler to enjoy wholesome foods isn’t an overnight job – their tastebuds are still developing and many haven’t yet developed an interest in a number of foods. But with perseverance, you can easily win them over – if they don’t enjoy a food made one way, try a different cooking method. Your child may need to try a snack or meal a few times before they start to like it, so don’t give up just because it’s a miss the first time. Keep trialling new foods.
It’s no secret that a sugar habit is a tough one to beat – wherever you go, sugar is there. Unlike with ditching alcohol, there are few places where sugar is unwelcome. From birthday parties and functions to the office pantry, Sunday markets and the supermarket. Is it any wonder that so many of us find it hard to quit the stuff? That’s why it can help to join a program like ours – our 8-Week Program is based on accountability, support and providing the essential resources to set you up for success. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health.
With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining.nWe’ve also got nutritionists, personal trainers and naturopaths in our team of experts, and they understand what our bodies need and how to best arm ourselves against those cravings. So, if you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
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So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!