Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Friday, April 16, 2010

Appetizer anyone?

When Lila was about 2 ½, I started giving her what she still calls a “veggie snack.” Basically this is an appetizer while I make dinner. She loves crunchy raw veggies, so I usually give her a small bowl of them while she watches TV and I make dinner. Some of our favorites include carrots, raw broccoli florets, cucumber slices, celery, and pepper flowers. Try still-frozen peas – they are a cool treat for little guys.

Children are more likely to try new foods if they are hungry. Lila was often begging for food at 4:45,claiming that she was starving and couldn't wait for dinner. I used this opportunity to increase her veggie intake.

Does your child scarf down veggies but leave fruit on their plate? Maybe a small bowl of apple slices or grapes would be a good choice. Do you have a child that turns their nose up at meat? Sneak him or her small pieces of the meat you are preparing for dinner as you make plates (Deacon eats far more chicken if I pass him shredded chicken while I'm still at the counter).

Today's tip: Try a healthy “appetizer” to increase your child's intake of a food they may turn down during dinner.

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