Breakfast can sometimes become a bit boring. Here's one way you can get creative with food and have a fun breakfast treat with the added bonus of being (mostly) nutritious.
What WE USE:
The kids love being in control of what they eat and how they eat it.
Whether they spread the peanut butter onto their choice of food(s) or dip their food into the peanut butter, they decide...and create.
CONNECT & INSPIRE...
This opportunity for them to have ownership of their actions can often translate to better co-operation later when it is time for mamas to take the lead. Another side incentive for mamas is that the kids have a bit of fun with creativity in an informal setting, which means a more relaxed start to the day.
*For kids with nut allergies, this breakfast picnic can be used for any other spreads as well. Vegemite is another favourite!
Ever used distraction, coercion or tricks to get your toddler to eat a few mouthfuls of nutritious food?
When it comes to successfully spooning these precious morsels into my kids - especially my determined toddler - I often use whatever method it takes to accomplish this mission! Why? Because I worry that a poor appetite might cause a nutritional deficiency or not enough energy for their normal growth.
Despite knowing that these concerns are normal parenting concerns and that it is also normal for toddlers to have small servings at mealtimes, I still worry. On days when the kids haven't eaten much at all, I admit to:
The problem with all of the above methods is that they are punitive ways of eating and in the long term, studies have shown that this can result in kids having negative associations and unhealthy relationships with food. It is important to remember that experts advise that so long as healthy meals and snacks are served, our kids' brains will make sure that they eat enough calories for normal energy and growth.
WHAT WE USE:
Nevertheless, a mama still worries! Thankfully, experience with my first two kids means that I have had ample opportunities to experiment and get creative at mealtimes. I am delighted to report that my toddler has responded effectively to the following creative methods:
Sometimes when my two older kids have difficulty eating their meals (because this never really stops till they are no longer kids but it does get less frequent and easier), I engage them in creative word games such as:
CONNECT & INSPIRE...
Creatively encouraging your kids to eat requires more involvement from you - plus things could get messy - but the pain is worth the gain; a belly full of nourishing food (and sometimes laughter) that is eaten by kids that are present and participatory at mealtime.
Do you have any tried, tested and tasted ways to encourage your kids to eat? I would love to hear from you in the comments section.
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