Pre-Schooler: Feeding Guidelines
- Healthy spreads and toppings can entice children. Teach your child how to spread cream cheese or sprinkle cheddar cheese on her snack. Anything to add variety and color!
- Sometimes a finicky eater may be more likely to want to drink his meal! Why not create a fruit and yogurt smoothie?
- Get creative when slicing up veggies and fruits. Fun shapes will gain the child’s interest and it is easy to do.
- Keep food servings small. As a rule of thumb, a young child’s stomach is approximately the size of his fist. Pass out small portions at first and refill the plate when your child asks for more. This less-is-more meal plan has the added benefit of stabilizing blood sugar levels, which in turn minimizes mood swings.
- Switch it up! Breakfast, lunch and dinner differences have little meaning to a child. If your youngster asks for dinner in the morning or cereal in the evening, go with it.
- Make every calorie count. Choose foods that pack lots of nutrition into small packages. Berries and leafy greens are good examples of foods high in nutrients. Offer the unprocessed berries as a snack. Chop kale and pour a small amount of steaming water on it. Allow to cool before serving as a quick side dish.
Get Them into the Kitchen
Children learn by touching, tasting, feeling, smelling and listening. Kids love to help prepare food and cook because they can use all their senses. Plan ways in which your kids can help you prepare meals by allowing them to help select the menu, go shopping and prepare some of the food. Don’t forget to let them help you clean up after too, as this will add to the learning experience.