There’s so much stress around trying to figure out WHAT and HOW to feed my toddler. Many people in my family are farmers. Food is our thing! Growing food has fed us and paid for some or all the non-food (clothing, computer, entertainment, transportation) items I’ve enjoyed my entire life. Food choices and nutrition are a big deal, I don’t want to mess up my kids’ health or bodies.
I’m blessed to be the mother of two children that are nine years apart in age. Their toddler life experiences and thus eating experiences have been very different. I struggled as a twenty something single mother learning to provide proper nutrition for my toddler. I had a great support system, but I remember so much fear and guilt around toddler nutrition.
As a thirty something mother of another toddler I have the confidence to understand that I need to offer a variety of foods in moderation and use the My Plate as a guideline.
Here are some tips that I’ve gathered over time that have helped me have peace in my life, peace about being a mom and peace about feeding a toddler.
-When you live the healthiest life possible your kid will too
-When you are calm and enjoying life, your kid will too – yes this affects nutrition and food habits
-When you take even ten minutes to exercise you will likely have a better day, do less stress eating, have more energy to plan a meal, grocery shop, etc.
-Ask friends for healthy meal and snack ideas. I’m a member of Feeding the Littles Facebook group and there are great conversations to get help and ideas.
-Sometimes I feed my toddler ingredients from the next meal while I’m cooking (or cleaning) to keep her happily contained in a high chair close by me, while making my job easier
-Vegetables are the most difficult, so we feed those at the beginning of the meal, for snacks, or whenever she is hungriest
-I’ve always had more luck getting my toddlers to eat ground or very thinly sliced meat like ham, bacon, pepperoni, sausage or pulled pork than larger chunks like pork chops.
-We try to keep healthy snacks with us always.
-My children mirror my approach to nutrition – calm or excited, relaxed or nervous, confident or scared.
I’ve listened to fellow moms who worry so much about how animals are cared for, what labels they should buy and why, will GMOs affect the safety of their food and more.
Here are a couple articles that other farm moms and I have authored about some of these hot topics:
Be confident, be kind and let’s lift each other up with words of encouragement as we raise toddlers together!