If you have a toddler, you probably also have a child who is very particular about what they will and will not eat. It can often be a challenge to get your kid to eat something—anything—healthy, which is why a lot of parents find themselves trying to sneak vegetables into mac and cheese or resigning themselves to a chicken-nuggets-only diet and just hoping they grow out of it. That can be a problem when your child goes to preschool, however. Here are some of the best foods to pack when your toddler goes to school in Greenwood, IN.
How to get your kids to eat healthy
Of course your child likes ice cream, cupcakes, chicken nuggets and soft drinks—but where did they learn that they liked them? In many cases, it’s from watching their parents. Who wouldn’t prefer a sugary drink to a plate of steamed broccoli, especially if they don’t understand why we have to eat healthy?
If you want them to actually eat what you want them to eat, it’s best to lead by example. That means that you should join them in eating apple slices, carrot sticks and other healthy snacks—and limit your own junk food consumption, at least in front of them.
The earlier you can start these habits, the better. Your kids love to imitate you, as you probably know if you’ve ever heard them repeat something embarrassing in public. They’re naturally curious. Take advantage of that curiosity by modeling good eating habits and serving your whole family healthy meals. When you start them on the right track early, they’re much more likely to keep those good eating habits up throughout their lives.
Healthy stand-ins and preschool snacks
There are plenty of stand-ins and snacks your child will love, whether they think they need popsicles every day or they happily eat carrot sticks and peanut butter. For example, you can get yogurt tubes and freeze them instead of serving them ice cream and popsicles.
If your child only eats bland white foods, try swapping out couscous or quinoa for white rice. Serve them sweet potato fries instead of regular, and look for ways to use reduced-fat milk in foods like mashed potatoes and other high-calorie foods.
When it comes to the best school foods for toddlers in Greenwood, IN, think “easy to pack” and “shelf stable.” Tube yogurt, sliced fruits and vegetables, peanut butter sandwiches (on multigrain bread) and fig bars instead of cookies are all good preschool foods. If you send cheese, look for one with reduced fat, and consider swapping Canadian bacon for regular bacon whenever possible. Hard-boiled eggs, low-fat milk and dry cereal are all good ways to fill the between-meals “nutrient gap” without encouraging unhealthy eating habits.
Are you looking for a preschool in Greenwood, IN for your toddler? Kids Kingdom Early Learning Center might be just what you need. Reach out to us today to learn more about our curriculum. We look forward to discussing your child’s needs!