Healthy handful: Ways to boost your toddler’s nutritional intake

Ah, the toddler years. Even if you have a child who loves a variety of foods like mine does, the challenge may be in getting him to sit still long enough to eat them. Here are some ways that I make sure my active little man gets some secret nutrition.

(1) Mix nutritionals into his food. For example, I keep a mix of ground raw seeds, spirulina, chlorella, kelp and green barley powder in the fridge. I sprinkle it onto Owen’s toast (sticks great to the almond butter!), mix it into yogurt and pasta sauce, hummus, smoothies and just about anything else that makes sense. We also squirt flax oil onto just about everything too, since the good fats build brains.

(2) Add greens to hummus and smoothies. Spinach hummus? Loved by one and all. Kale in a banana berry smoothie? Undetectable. Really.(3) Always keep fruit cut up in the fridge as an easy, on-the-go snack. Apples, grapes, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi make a colorful and fun fruit salad, and these seem to be universally loved fruits.

(4) Add veggies to baked goods. Nope, they aren’t going to know if their brownies have carrots and zucchini in them. We also replace the fats in most recipes with almond butter for more protein and calcium. If you try this, you may have to add just a little more liquid to the recipe to get the right consistency.

(5) Dip, dip, dip! My kiddo is a dipper; he’ll eat just about anything if he can dip it into something. First, the dip (see #s one and two). Add those sprinkles to the ketchup, rejoice in the spinach hummus. And the dippers? I keep lightly steamed baby carrots (raw is too hard for my guy to chew), cucumber sticks, raw zucchini and red pepper ready and waiting.

Your toddler may not love the crazy foods mine does, but the advice still applies. Hide it, be prepared and celebrate the food that can be eaten on the run.

Author by Debra McDuffee