Does your child eat healthy (and everything) at childcare but is a fussy eater at home? We have so many parents make comments that their child happily eats anything at childcare but refuses to eat at home.
Food with toddlers and children can be very stressful for parents.
Our cook at Kingsgrove shares some helpful tips on how to encourage healthy eating at home.
There are a few reasons that your child may eat what is given to them at childcare. These could include:
– Children love to follow the leader and are encouraged by their peers. They are all eating the same thing, at the same time!
– Our meal times are set out to make sure that children are hungry enough to eat something at each meal time.
– Options are limited, sometimes parents feel that they need to provide other options if a child doesn’t like what is served. While we make sure lunch options are yummy and nutritious, we don’t encourage other options (though we do cater for food allergies).
Here are some tips that can assist:
- Have something familiar on the plate. When serving something new, have a familiar and favoured item to the child. This helps when introducing a new item that not everything on their plate is foreign.
- For younger babies, let them explore their food and have whole vegetables such a broccoli florette or finger sized carrot sticks/ chunk steamed pumpkin. This also helps when they are older recognizing and liking vegetables.
- Eat as a family where possible – this is a great way for parents to model healthy eating and make meal times fun.
- Include a variety of items on their plate.
- Remember that we serve them healthy, balanced meals throughout the day and if they don’t eat all their veggies than don’t stress. Children can generally sense our stress as parents around eating and dinner times.