A diet limited to bread, potatoes or pasta – it can be stressful if your toddler only wants to eat one type of food. Here is advice on how to ensure that your picky eater still gets enough healthy nutrients.
Is your toddler going through a phase where they’ll only eat certain foods (bread, potatoes, yoghurt, cheese or pasta)? You know how they want to hear the same song on repeat and play with the same toy, all day, every day? Eating the same foods every day is just another version of this.
So, while you can helplessly blame this on a toddler’s love for routine and repetition, there are few things you can do to make these phases as healthy as possible.
Up the nutrition
Bread, cheese, potatoes – whatever the food, be sure to always offer up the most nutritious version. For example, leave the skin on potatoes – it’s a valuable source of nutrients and fibre, offer up wholewheat pasta or whole grain bread or choose sugar- and salt-free peanut butter (may contain allergens).
A good tip for starches like pasta, bread or cereal is to be guided by the food label. Opt for one with more than 6 g of fibre per 100 g, as this is defined as a high-fibre food.
Where possible, it is a good idea to offer up the favourite food in a variety of textures. This will at least allow for your little one to be exposed to various textures of foods at this time, which is important for motor and oral development.
Up the flavour
Focus on a variety of flavours with this food, both to challenge the taste buds and offer a nutrient variety. For example, if the bread is your toddler’s current favourite, dip it in egg and make French toast or peanut butter and banana sandwiches for added healthy fats.
You can mix pureed veg like carrot into mashed potato or try different types of cheese, from softer mozzarella to stronger cheddar.
Or try mixing a Squish 100% fruit and veg puree into their favourite food. Alternatively, squeeze the puree into a small dish and get your little one to dip their favourite food into it. When feeding your little one Squish purees, you can rest assured you are giving your little one the best. Preservative free, colourant free with no artificial flavours or added starch and available in a convenient pouch, Squish is perfect for mealtimes, snack times or on the go.
Patience makes perfect
Throughout this time, keep presenting your toddler with other healthy foods at mealtime, as well as the favourite food. According to research, between eight and 10 exposures to food may be needed before a child is willing to try it. This means that patience is key when getting through these phases of food obsessions.
For more information, visit squish.co.za