I’m honored to be a Stonyfield Ambassador this year, sharing tips and tricks like how to get your toddler to eat healthier lunches. Come see what I’m sharing today!
I’ve been really lucky that Liam has always been a decently good eater. We’ve gotten into ruts before where all he’ll eat are pancakes or pretzels and that’s all he’ll eat for a while. Once we’ve run out, I tell him we need to buy more at the grocery store and that usually satisfies him. We’ll pause on the unhealthier foods for a few weeks while he learns to try and love other healthy foods. By the time we purchase more goodies, he loves the new foods so much that he gets a good balance of both.
What steps have I taken to get him to eat healthier?
- Getting kids involved in the food prep – Liam will either stand on a stool next to me or on the counter by me while I chop and prep fruits and vegetables. I will offer samples of these healthy foods and he loves tasting them! Even when he goes back to playing, he’ll come back and ask for more samples.
- Explaining what is on the plate or what we’re cutting – Asking questions and talking about the foods makes him more likely to eat it. We talk about the color, shape, size and what it tastes like!
- Giving kids variety – If you offer the same fruits and vegetables every single time, it gets boring. Instead, take your kids to the grocery store and let them help pick out new fruits and vegetables to take home and try. This will get them invested in the decision making process and allow them a wider variety of healthy foods to learn to love.
- Serving Dishes – It’s like me and my favorite coffee cup: coffee just tastes better when it’s in there! Having fun divided plates, containers or lunch boxes just makes it taste better!
- Sweets – At the other end of the spectrum, I like to also incorporate a little sweet treat into the mix. It’s all about balance and moderation. I grew up with some kids who weren’t allowed any candy, snacks or even sweet cereals. Because of that, when they got to be older they would binge eat the junk food when out of the parent’s watch. I don’t want my kids to be like that. Life’s too short to not allow kids to experience junk food! But, again, it’s all about balance, right?
After all of this practice, meal time eating becomes less of a battle of broccoli versus chips, but more of a fun and healthy learning experience! And now that school is starting back up, you won’t be there to explain or encourage eating the healthy foods in your child’s lunch box. By exploring healthy foods prior to packing them in lunches, there won’t as much hesitation to trying the foods. And who knows, your child might really love it! There’s no reason healthy foods can’t be tasty!
Here are some healthier lunch box ready options for your toddler:
- carrot and cucumber sticks with dressing
- whole grain tortellini
- grapes cut in half
- Stonyfield yogurt pouches
- thinly sliced apples (dipped in lemon juice to keep from browning)
- grilled chicken cubes with seasoning
- red, orange, yellow and green bell pepper slices – kids love colors!
- applesauce pouches
- peanut butter and strawberry slices on whole wheat bread
- honey dew melon or cantaloupe cut into shapes
What foods does your child like to eat for lunch? How do you help your children eat healthier?
This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.