Monday, August 2, 2010

Creating a Healthy Eater

I was recently introduced to an awesome new website from the UK called "Little People's Plates." It's an awesome resource for ideas on how to get your toddler to eat a healthier, more rounded diet and is right up my alley. I blog a lot about how much we want Jackson to start eating right from the start- which includes making all of his baby food ourselves, breastfeeding for the first year, and sticking to a 100% organic diet (him and I). This is all well and good, but I know things get enormously more complicated when the toddler years hit and major food preferences starting rearing their little heads. One of my favorite parts of the website is called "Ten Steps for Healthy Toddlers" and lists a variety of tips for ensuring that your toddler, ages 1-3, is eating as healthy as possible. Here are their ten steps:
1. Eat together as a family and make mealtimes relaxed, happy occasions.
2. You decide which nutritious foods to offer but let your toddler decide how much to eat.
3. Offer foods from all 5 food groups each day.
4. Have a routine and offer 3 meals and 2 snacks each day.
5. Offer 6-8 drinks a day.
6. Give vitamins A & D each day.
7. Respect your toddlers' tastes and preferences- don't force feed.
8. Reward your child with your attention- never use food and drink as rewards or treats.
9. Limit (junk food)
10. An hour of active play every day and about 12 hours of sleep.

Great advice and I think people could use more of it! I read another study recently that found that the vegetable eaten most often by toddler ages 1-3 are french fries! Are you kidding me?! Another fantastic part of the website is a Tot It Up Calculator" that allows you to analyze what your toddler is eating from each of the 5 food groups and ensure that they have a balanced diet. Want to learn more about instilling healthy eating habits in your child? Head over to Little People's Plates for more great advice, helpful printables, and real-world advice!

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Jess and the boys said...

Thanks for this post! I am definitely struggling on getting a variety of healthy foods inside my almost-2-year-old! This is going to be a great website for me! :)


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