Mum-of-four Laura Doyle shares how she gets her little ones to eat healthy foods from a young age.
It can be quite a battle trying to get healthy food into your little one.
One day they love something, the next they are disgusted at the mere mention of it.
As overwhelming as it may be trying to crack the code on what they will eat and what they won’t, how important is getting healthy and nutritious food into your little one from the get-go?
Experts say that by giving your child a healthy and balanced diet you are ensuring they get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.
As your little one grows, they need certain vitamins and minerals for their body and brain to develop.
Calcium and Vitamin D is essential for normal growth and development of bones in children. Vitamin D is also essential in supporting the immune system.
Iron supports children’s cognitive development. Omega 3s supports brain function in children.
So what is a balanced diet?
To ensure that your little one is eating a balanced diet, they need to be eating a variety of nutritious foods covering all of the different food groups. For example, your little ones should be eating from these food groups daily- Fruit and veg, wholegrains, Beans and lentils, lean meat, oily fish and nuts and seeds.
What can I do if my child will not eat the foods they need for development?
First and foremost - don’t stress about it. What children eat and don’t eat is usually down to a phase. You will find for a little while they don’t eat much, then a couple of months later you can’t keep them fed. If they are eating something they like, focus on that and keep offering small amounts of the things they say they don’t like.
Sometimes though, it is just not possible to get your child to eat the foods you would like them to eat for their development. In these cases, a good multivitamin may help or have you tried blending? Blending vegetables into sauces or sneaking nutritious veg into their smoothies is an excellent way to get them to eat some extra veg and they won't even be able to taste it.