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Feeding advice for pre-schoolers

Created by Charlotte in Age: At School, Age: Baby & Toddler, Age: Pre-school, Feeding & Sleeping



I would like to share with all grandparents out there a fantastic way to help get their grandchildren tucking into healthy fruit and vegetables – without even asking the children to eat, try or taste any of them!

 

We are all acutely aware of how important a nutritionally balanced diet is for children. However, it is not always easy to entice them to eat a snack of fresh fruit or a meal accompanied by a pile of vibrant vegetables, no matter how candidly we enthuse that they should eat it because it’s good for them!

 

Mealtimes and feeding can be a stressful or frustrating time especially if it involves introducing something new or different. The best time to introduce new or tricky foods is always away from the meal table and with the emphasis on having fun.

 

For example a grandchild who is not willing to hold or smell a strawberry is not very likely to pop it in their mouth, but if they can have a strawberry and spoon race with Granny, followed by some fun washing them in a bowl with Grandpa they could even be encouraged by a song that leads them into smelling kissing and licking a strawberry! Then even squeezing one to make some lovely red juice – showing them how to paint their lips with the delicious juice might be the first time they have ever tasted a real strawberry before? The fun they have experienced will help build positive associations with the fruit for future. It’s a small step but a far cry from it being refused or worse thrown on the floor.

 

Similarly perhaps your grandchild will not entertain the idea of eating something green like courgette, celery or spinach but they will have great fun helping you cut them open to see what they look like inside, do they smell, are they warm or cold, wet or dry? Perhaps you can have a competition to see who can make the loudest dinosaur crunching sound in the food? (Let your grandchild win and then praise them enthusiastically with a big high five!) Or see if you can make a pattern in the vegetable using your teeth marks? This is a very simple but effective way to help children experience the texture and taste of something new and different without them feeling pressured to it.

 

If we offer children the opportunity to explore good food from an early age without pressure, we will be laying the foundations for healthy eating to continue through their life. Gardening and growing food is also a fantastic learning experience to share with grandchildren and getting muddy is all part of the fun!

 

So what better way to ensure the health of our future generation than by taking your grandchildren on a “Taste for Life” food adventure?

 

Taste for Life is a pre-school education programme available free to all nurseries across the UK and is supported by Organix. The programme resources all link with the Early Years Foundation to help children to explore fruit and vegetables through fun songs, games and activities. I helped develop the Taste for Life programme following the success of my Mange Tout classes and book, with a vision of creating a healthier generation.

 

You and your grandchildren can take part in the Taste for Life programme and have fun with all the activities, games and recipes which are available to download for free at tasteforlifenursery.com.  Join us on our Food Adventure!

 

 

by Lucy Thomas from Taste for Life


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