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Healthy Eating For Toddlers

5 min read | 02 September 2019

The taste of a new word—no—is sweet on little lips and once learnt there is ‘no’ going back. Clashes of ‘the no game’ soon become the mantra for many daily exchanges and the dining table isn’t an exception.

Many parents encounter the challenge of a fussy toddler when it comes to eating. At this stage, most toddlers can eat a variety of foods and flavours—the question is will they try. The process of introducing newness is often testing as parents have new foods flung back in defiance. Experts recommend a careful curation of food groups that encourages variety.

Toddlers rarely follow a traditional meal pattern. Instead they need small and regular healthy snacks that suit small tummies and short attention spans. Perfect choices include fresh fruits, such as apples, grapes, strawberries, mandarins, bananas and apricots. Or carrot, zucchini and celery sticks combined with healthy dips like hummus or mashed avocado (crunchy vegetables can be softened by steaming for very young children). For something a little different, try a simple smoothie —blending yoghurt, milk and fruit, such as bananas and berries.

While ‘no’ may often be a response to a new food, it’s important to be persistent and patient. Next time the response may not be the same. Consider offering one new food with another you know your child likes. Make it a family occasion and share a common meal whenever possible. Become the role model for your little mimic; demonstrate at each meal, everyday, a balanced and healthy diet. This will set your child up with good eating habits for life. Try this warming, nutritious breakfast recipe recommended by mummy blogger @wholefoodmummy—a delicious way to guarantee you’ll see the bottom of the bowl—and will provide all the energy to keep active throughout the day.

Porridge with stewed plums

(Makes enough for 2 children and 2 adults)

Porridge - Ingredients:
  • 2 cup of whole oats

  • 2 – 2 ½ cups of almond, rice, cashew milk or wholemilk (Selection depending on the preference/age/allergies of your child)

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoon Coconut Oil

  • Pinch of Salt Stewed

Plum – Ingredients:
  • 8-10 Plums – Halved and pitted

  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil

  • 2 tablespoons of Rice Bran Syrup

  • zest ½ lemon

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

  • 2 tablespoons water

Extras – Ingredients:
  • 1 Tablespoon of desiccated coconut Handful Blueberries

Method - Porridge:

Place oats in saucepan and add 1 cup of your milk of choice. Turn heat onto medium/low and stir for a minute or two. Add cinnamon and continue to stir every minute or so to ensure oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add second cup of milk as needed. Depending on the type of oats you are using it will take anywhere between 2 – 10minutes for your oats to be completely cooked through and lusciously gloopy. You don’t really want chewy oats so if you need to, please add more milk until your oats are cooked to your liking. Once cooked, add a pinch of salt and the coconut oil and mix through then serve.

Method – Stewed Plums:

Before you start prepping the food turn your oven up to 160 deg. Then you can proceed to wash and cut your plums in half and remove the pips. Melt the coconut oil, the rice bran syrup and mix in the lemon zest and grated ginger. Place the plums into an oven proof dish with the flesh facing up. Poor the melted coconut oil mixture over the plums and then place in the oven around the middle shelf to cook for 10-15minutes. 5 minutes into the cooking process add the water. Continue to cook until the plums have become beautifully soft but are able to hold their shape. Remove from the oven and place 2-3 plums plus some syrup onto of the porridge along with a sprinkle of coconut and some blueberries.

This recipe is also fantastic with figs, apricots, rhubarb…just let yourself get creative with the season produce.

Recipe and image source: @wholefoodmummy

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