Healthy Eating for the New Year

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for mom and dad. Help your toddler get off to a great start this year by making some new healthy habits. Toddlers are generally pretty open to healthy foods, but you have to be a bit creative about the way you offer them sometimes.

These tips will help your toddler (and you) have a healthier year and hopefully make some great healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

Prep fruits and veggies ahead of time. My kids are generally pretty good eaters, so I know if I offer healthy foods to them, they will usually get eaten. That also means that most of their unhealthy food choices are often my fault. Prep fruits and veggies at the beginning of the week so you have quick options to grab when you are short on time. For harder veggies, cook them ahead of time. My twins love cooked carrots (they’ll even eat them cold), so I try and keep some on hand for snacks.

Offer fruits and veggies before meals. My kids tend to be grazers. They always want a snack while I’m cooking dinner, and I’ve found that they will seriously eat anything I put in front of them while they are waiting for dinner to be ready. This is a great opportunity for me because I can fill a tray with fruits and veggies, and they will eat them all . . . even the ones they would complain about if I served them with a meal.

Set a good example. Your toddler is watching everything you do, whether you want her to or not. I’ve found the quickest way to get my kids to eat something healthy is for me to eat it and not offer them any. As soon as they see me eating it they want it.

Offer water throughout the day. Most of us don’t drink nearly enough water. My toddlers love to practice drinking from a big kid cup. The problem is they spill all over the place, so I like to fill it with water. It’s a good chance for them to get some extra fluids in and practice their cup skills.

Stay active. Toddler’s don’t usually have a problem staying active (I wish I could say the same thing about me), but they do need a little direction sometimes to help them burn off some energy. Take walks as a family (toddlers can walk for short distances if you walk somewhere away from traffic), go swimming or get in the habit of stretching together each morning. Your toddler will love it, and you’ll both form some great habits.

How are you helping your toddler stay healthy in 2016?

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