Tips for healthy eating: pre-schooler
- Your pre-schooler knows that foods such as lollies and ice-cream are treats, so rather than withholding them completely, try having a treat day – Sunday night could be ice-cream night, or a lolly with a movie on a Friday afternoon – which will (hopefully!) prevent her becoming fixated on the idea of having these things.
- While your pre-schooler won’t be flexible at all about her diet, you will need to be! Every meal you serve doesn’t have to cover the five food groups. Try offering raw veggie sticks for afternoon tea – or a handful of cherry tomatoes. Think about French toast for dinner, or a cold sausage for breakfast. As long as she gets a complete diet over the course of the day, then you’ve done your job.
- Don’t force her to finish her meal. Pre-schoolers, more than any other age, really do have an appetite that seems to switch on and off. One day she’s starving and the next she’s not interested in food at all. If you’re concerned about her overall intake of food, keep a food diary for a week to keep track of her eating habits.
- Make sure your child is having a nutritious breakfast each morning – if she goes to pre-school with a full tummy, she’ll cope better with the day and it won’t matter as much if she doesn’t eat a lot while she’s there.
- Lots of fruit seems more exciting when it’s frozen – try frozen orange quarters, a bunch of frozen grapes, frozen berries in a cup.
- If all else fails, try ‘hiding’ her vegetables in her food – cooked tomatoes in baked beans, diced carrots in her bolognaise, or home-made meat pies (you can hide just about anything in them!)
- Find recipes for kids meals, snacks and more in the Recipe Finder.
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