It is very important for me to provide nutritious food to my daughter, Grace for several reasons. I want to ensure that the nutrients in her diet support her health, growth and overall development, especially during the growing up years so that she can be so much more. She is more likely to be motivated and energised, thus supporting her ability to learn. Teaching her on healthy eating in early years will also help her make healthier choices when she grows up. However, it is not always easy to get a young toddler to eat healthily. As a mum, I find it very challenging to instil healthy eating habits in my child. What if she is a fussy eater? What if a chocolate bar looks more appetising than a banana?
Grace developed some food dislikes and likes very early on in life, just like any other kids, but I managed to find several ways to encourage her to consume healthy food.
1. No junk food at home:
Both my husband and I wanted to stay healthy as well. Hence we insisted on not to buy or consume junk food, and we also make sure healthy snacks are always available at home. For Grace, we usually substitute her snacks with dried fruits like berries, raisins, dried wolfberries and bananas.
2. Educate by introducing new food options:
I would teach her about food – where it comes from and what’s good about them. I took her to the supermarket last weekend, and she enjoyed it! I bought some ingredients home and showed her how to cook them – not only for her but the entire family. If possible, I’d usually allow her to be involved in getting the food ready in the kitchen such as inviting her to prepare fruits and vegetables (without losing my mind).
3. Model healthy eating:
I always believe that eating meals as a family is key to raise a well-balanced, healthy and happy child. Grace watches everything we do, so it should be no surprise that she watches us doing the same can influence her. Both my husband and I typically love eating vegetables. And now she likes having her vegetables too, in her ABC soup.
4. Have fun and be creative:
All food contains different nutrients, vitamins and minerals. To make sure my daughter gets all the nutrients she needs, I would introduce her a variety of food in each meal – using different fruits, vegetables and snacks each day. Try to be more creative in the kitchen and your child will more likely to take an interest in healthier options. Grace loves strawberries and oranges so we had add them usually to her weekly lunch menu planner is a great way to start. By planning ahead, you can make sure that your child’s lunch box has a variety of nutrients.
5. Healthy morning breakfast:
Milk is also an excellent source of protein and another essential nutrient such as calcium. I always make it as a habit for Grace to drink at least 2 cups of milk daily to support her overall diet so she can be so much more. She loves having a glass of milk with cereals for her breakfasts, especially high fibre cereals. At this stage, I want to make sure that she gets a well-balanced diet, besides eating vegetables, fruits, meat and whole grain. I usually make time for breakfast and sit with her, so she understands breakfast is an important part of the day.
6. Make other meals count:
If Grace hardly eats anything after she wakes up in the morning or when we are rushing to go out, I will make sure at least she has a nutritious meal on-the-go. My daughter loves taking her lunchbox to school or classes every day. I’m glad because this way I know what she’s eating. I usually pack her lunchbox with easy homemade sushi for her – she’s a fan of mini sushi rolls which I added eggs and mixed some broccoli florets into the eggs for her consumption. Fruits are important as well because they offer so many health benefits, thus sneaking some fresh fruits like strawberries, oranges, and kiwi into her lunch box does help to boost her nutrition.
Make sure you find a lunch box that is easy and kid-friendly to use. I got her a few lunch boxes recently, which come in three colours – red, green and yellow. If you are looking for colourful lunch boxes, you can get one Bekal Nutrisi* when you purchase two packs of 900g Dumex Dugro of any variant at major stores and local supermarket, starting from 1st September till 31st October. For more information about the nationwide promotion, you may click here. *While stocks last
Grace is currently drinking Dumex Dugro, a growing-up milk formulated with so much more DHA*, 15 vitamins and minerals as well as unique lcFOS, backed with over 40 years of science. She has been drinking Dumex Dugro for years now, and I’m happy that I have found something that is suitable for her.
*compared to previous formula, 9.7mg.