When it comes to food, kids are renowned for being awkward and it can sometimes prove a difficult job trying to get them to eat anything, never mind something that’s healthy too! Yes, it’s quicker and makes for a quieter life to give them something you know they will eat, even if it’s not particularly healthy for them. But that’s the easy option. You need to make sure that your child is receiving all the right nutrients and vitamins from food that will help aid their development that is so crucial during these early years of their life.
So here at Tiny World we’ve come up with some great food ideas for your toddler’s lunchbox that are fun, colourful, tasty but most of all healthy!
Foods that make up part of your 5 a day:
- Small packets or bags of raisins, dried apricots or other dried fruits.
- Strawberries, bananas, grapes, pineapple, apples (try to choose the fruits that are in season). If your toddler doesn’t like eating the fruits whole then try cutting them up into smaller more manageable pieces to make a tasty fruit salad.
- Some children can be sensitive to textures so if they don’t like the textures of fruit then try chopping them up and blending them with a bit of fruit juice to make a delicious, colourful smoothie. Add a few finishing, decorative touches to make it all the more enjoyable for them.
- Use a fun shaped mould to make a sugar-free jelly with pieces of fruit set into it.
- A salad pot full of colourful and tasty raw vegetables such as; lettuce, cucumber, celery, pepper, carrot sticks and tomatoes.
Foods that aid bone growth:
Including calcium rich food in your child’s diet enables the body to deposit calcium in the bones, helping them grow strong.
- Small cubes of cheese
- Fromage frais or Greek yoghurt
- Rice pudding
Growing toddlers need food packed with plenty of fibre, protein and carbohydrates to fill them up and give them lots of energy to keep them going throughout the day.
- Sandwiches and wraps filled with:
Tuna mayo and sweetcorn
Cheese and cucumber
Cheese and tomato
Ham and cheese
Cutting the sandwiches into shapes will help engage your child with what they are eating, making the whole experience more fun and appealing as they can look forward to seeing what shape sandwiches they have that day.
- Pasta or cous cous salads with a variety of chopped up vegetables inside.
We can all get the munchies before bedtime and so can our kids. You could make cookies as a bedtime treat if they get peckish but substitute the sugar for something else sweet, such as honey or maple syrup. This sugar-free snack will still satisfy a sweet tooth without making your toddler hyper and excited right before it’s time to settle down for bed – plus they won’t even taste the difference!
Try giving some of these healthy lunchbox ideas a go and encourage your child to help you prepare the food, making things out of fun shapes and bright colours wherever possible. This will help gain your child’s attention and encourage good eating habits while they’re still young, plus this will over time develop their understanding of what foods are what and why it’s important for us to eat them.
For further information on how you can help encourage a healthy diet for your toddler, please get in touch with the child care professionals at Tiny World day nursery.