Tuesday, January 22, 2008

tip: how to get children to eat a balanced meal

I have been a nanny for over eight years now and have spent my share of time trying to get babies, toddlers and school age children to eat healthy balanced meals. You can buy these trays at Pottery Barn and they are real lifesafers. They are dishwasher safe and come in bright and pastel colors to match your kitchen. The best part is that because I find that children often want thier food seperated, this does it for them. It also helps them to make healthy choices. The children I nanny know that when they eat dinner each section will contain a fruit, vegetable, protein and starch. They can choose either water or milk.

It is always a debate in child development as to how much you should feed your child. I have spoken with several pediatricians and what I most commonly hear is that children will eat when they are hungry and stop when they are fool. Arguing over meal times isn't fun for the child or parent and really isn't healthy. It can cause issues with food in the future. Make your child a part of meal planning and they are likely to be more excited about it. I may suggest taking them on an outing to a produce market, butchery or bakery so they can pick out some of the food items. In any case, teaching your child to eat well comes from introducing them a variety of foods and spices. One twelve month old I looked after, her favorite meal was salmon with curried cous cous and broccoli. I don't believe in "Kid" food. I like to offer them what the adults are eating.

For infants, I suggest not feeding them fruits or juice at first so that thier palate develops a taste for vegetables and rice first. If you are offering them bananas or beans, which do you think they are going to prefer? Obviously bananas. Developing a sweet tooth before the age of one isn't necessary. After a couple of months of eating the vegetables and rice, then start offering fruits. I don't usually give infants juice. They will get enough nutrients with milk and it isn't so good for thier teeth. With toddlers I dilute the juice with water but even then it is very limited.


jjstout said...


jacey said...

These are great. Amelia love them. Thanks