I remember weaning my boys as a fairly golden era, where they’d pretty much eat anything I cooked, pureed and spooned into them. Once they grew into toddlers they decided to get a bit more opinionated about what they would and wouldn’t eat, and that has certainly continued! However we should never lose faith as parents that trying to get them to eat healthily is absolutely worth persevering with.
Nearly a quarter of British children under the age of five are overweight or obese according to new research carried out by Leeds Beckett University. Depressingly that means our country has the second-highest proportion of overweight under-fives in all 28 countries studied.
Unsurprisingly, the Healthy Start Alliance Manifesto have found that good nutrition in the early years contributes to good health and wellbeing in infant years and beyond.
How do we put this into practice? Well this week Organix is launching its #LoveGoodFood campaign for toddlers, designed to help little ones love good food in these early years, so they grow up to be healthy, little food explorers.
Organix #LoveGoodFood campaign has enlisted the help of children’s food expert Lucy Thomas, who runs fun workshops encouraging children to love fruit and vegetables, and Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix and a registered dietitian specialising in feeding babies and toddlers.
Together with Organix they are launching its Little Book of Good Food – Toddlers & Families.
It’s packed with advice and tips for parents on providing a healthy diet for little ones as they continue their exciting journey with food through the early years and beyond. You can download your free copy here: www.organix.com/lovegoodfood
Organix is also launching a series of Love Good Food short videos, with Lucy and a group of toddlers exploring, enjoying and sharing the wonderful world of fruit and vegetables, from broccoli to bananas, through play, rhymes, song and storytelling. It’s really cheerful and positive with some great ideas so definitely give it a watch.
In the meantime here are some more handy hints and tips from Lucy to keep you from going barking mad as your child starts flinging their food around the kitchen when you’re attempting to give them a meal!
- Encourage a wider interest in food, without asking them to eat or taste anything. Get them to smell, kiss, lick or crunch. You can show your child how to smell strawberries and lick one to feel the bumpiness of the seeds on the outside.
- Give them lots of opportunities to touch and handle fresh fruit and vegetables, whether out shopping, at home cooking or even growing food. This will help them be more relaxed and interested in food.
- Get a little messy – let your little one squash a tomato or squeeze an orange while you are cooking. If they feel comfortable handling a food they are more likely to want to eat it.
- Let your child explore different textures of food by juicing, blending, grating or mashing foods with your help.
- Explore vegetables raw as well as cooked, it’s a great way to overcome a dislike of a vegetable. For example, small crunchy florets of cauliflower for dipping are delicious – and taste very different to cooked cauliflower.
Disclosure: I have been commissioned by Organix to promote their #LoveGoodFood campaign and will be sharing a series of blog posts with you as it’s something I feel strongly about.