5 Tips to Help Your Toddler Eat Healthy, from ParentTV

We’re happy to offer a new partner in parenting and youth services: ParentTV! This online resource offers short video tips from parenting experts, as well as blog posts and other material, all free with your Chandler Library card. This month’s featured blog post is on healthy eating, excerpted from the ParentTV blog.

Mother guilt is real! Most mothers want the best for their children and we worry about every little aspect of their precious lives. I find myself lying in bed in the middle of the night sometimes trying to remember when they last did a poo, worrying if I’ve picked the right day-care options or counting vegetables and fruit servings for the day.

But are we over complicating things? Whenever I remember back to how Gran was when she was a mum, I think of simple healthy foods that were easy to prepare and that we grew to expect and love. I find myself having to pick which battles to fight with my toddler and making sure that he eats healthy is one area where I do try to have a few wins.

Here are my top five tips that I have found help my toddler eat more healthy food:


Chefs will tell us that presentation is more than half of the meal and I swear that’s true with toddlers too. Little minds are inquisitive and they love to see something fresh and new so I try to vary the way I give them the same old foods. One day a whole banana, the next day I’ll cut it into long skinny strips and the next day it might be in circles or triangles.

Hide the Goodness

If you’re a little creative you can get veggies into other foods that they do like to eat and that way they’re getting the goodness at the same time as eating something they love. Some classic examples that I have used are grating the vegetables and zucchini into the meatloaf, mixing the potato and the pumpkin together and even popping peas in with the Bolognese.

Supplement the Nutrition

Fresh food is awesome and a balanced diet is essential but it is okay to add a little ‘insurance’ by using nutritional supplements. As an adult I take a multi-vitamin each day just to top up any vitamins or minerals that I may have missed or been low on. There are specially formulated vitamin supplements for children, so we know that they’re getting some baseline nutrition even when they’re going through particularly fussy periods.

Healthy Treats

Just because something is healthy doesn’t mean it has to be boring and I try to make sure some of the healthy stuff gets into the dessert and treats too. Even the old-fashioned fruit salad with a dab of ice cream is still a great way to get fresh healthy food into a young toddler, and you don’t need too much ice cream to make it delicious.

Drink the Goodness

Quite often I’ll make a healthy drink in the blender for my kids so that once again they are taking in the goodness a different way. On weekends and school holidays I’ll set up a ‘Smoothie and Juice Bar’ in the kitchen for morning tea and involve the kids in making a delicious icy-cold drink that can contain several pieces of fruit and/or vegetables. It sounds crazy but I found that the container that you serve the drink in and simply the fact that you include a straw make these drinks much more popular with the kids.

Read the full article at the ParentTV blog, or log in to ParentTV with your Chandler Public Library card number and PIN to view videos about kids’ nutrition like these:
Fussy eating in under 5s
Fussy eater or typical kid?
What to do instead of using dessert as a reward