Food fuels us. It gives us energy, helps us grow and boosts our immunity.
But what happens when your growing tot refuses to eat any fuel that isn’t chips, cheese or chicken nuggets?
It’s natural to be a little worried, especially as cold and flu season approaches. As many as three out of four Aussie parents¹ are concerned their child isn’t getting all the nutrition they need. Three out of four parents also admit their child would rather eat fast food and snacks than larger, nutritious meals.
So what can mums do?
Wholefood Simply author, chef, mum-of-three and Blackmores Superkids cook, Bianca Slade, knows the struggles involved with fussy eaters.
“Achieving well-being for myself is hard enough, let alone for my kids who are picky eaters and always on the go,” Bianca tells Mum Central. “It’s a worry because it’s a constant battle to get them to eat a nutritionally balanced diet which I know is crucial to ensure their healthy growth and development for the best start in life.”
Here are the top picks from Bianca and Mum Central to keep your pint-sized picky eaters fit and healthy this winter, even if they refuse most food groups.
1. Get cute
“For added excitement, be creative and arrange them in shapes such as smiley faces – the kids will love it and forget they’re eating healthy stuff,” Bianca suggests.
2. Consider the crunch
“Pile your child’s plate high with fresh, chilled salad ingredients, such as lettuce, cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, sugar snap peas and cucumber. They’re high in health-boosting vitamins, and are nice and filling, so your kids can forget about those less nutrient dense foods for a moment.”
Remember kids will often go through stages with their eating. Keep trying to serve different veggies and fruits. You may find that they might refuse tomato one day and then decide they like it the next.
3. Go for gummies!
“We know that fussy eaters are at risk of not getting all the nutrients they need to support their health, and sometimes this may leave them with nutritional gaps.”
Blackmores Superkids vitamins, including Superkids Multi Gummies (below), are a great choice to supplement a healthy diet, containing a daily boost of 12 essential nutrients to help support kids’ growth and development. They have no added artificial sugar and colours and have a naturally delicious taste to help balance out kids’ patchy diets.
4. Dish up a new name
Some foods come with such yucky-sounding names, it kind of makes sense kids wouldn’t want to even give them a go. Brussell sprouts, for example, sound about as appetising as a muddy puddle.
So rename these foods. Broccoli can become Brontosaurus Bushes. Rissoles can be Power Patties. Fried Rice can be Rainbow Rice. Any weird-looking seasoning can be Fairy Dust. Think about what your little one loves at the moment (unicorns, fairies, cars, cowboys, superheroes, monsters, dinosaurs) and go from there.
5. Try tasty toppings
“Swap fatty mayonnaise and other creamy sauces for yoghurt, specifically Greek yoghurt. It contains 10 times more protein than mayo, and is ideal to add with most dishes, such as meats, salads and your morning muesli,” Bianca advises. “The kids won’t know the difference. Add some herbs, or a squeeze of lemon for extra taste.”
6. Make smart spread swaps
“In place of butter, use avocado on bread or toast instead. It’ll taste just as creamy, but you’ll be feeding your little one with the added benefits of all those good fats.
To make it go further, mash it with a little olive oil, so that it’s smooth and creamy. You can even use avocado as a replacement for butter in baking – you (and the kids) will never know the difference.”
7. Get them involved
“Kids are more likely to eat (and enjoy!) something they’ve helped prepare. Bake some healthy ‘treats’ or have them help find something they’d love to try.”
8. Practice what you preach
Meal time is family time so get into the routine of eating together and eating similar foods. Choose healthy foods in front of the kids (and save the late night chocolate feasts for after they go to bed).
Celebrate the little bites (even if it’s just teeny tiny one bite of carrot)
Yes, we want our kids to eat a variety of healthy, nutritious foods every single day. But don’t beat yourself up if they don’t.
Adding a daily vitamin, like the Blackmores Superkids range, to their routine is an easy and excellent way to provide them with the nutrients they may be missing out on.
No added sugar or nasties, just added nutrients for growth and development
Many parents have concerns about the high sugar content in vitamins which is another reason we love Blackmores Superkids range*. There are heaps of different Blackmores Superkids vitamins, all of which are more than 99% sugar free and taste great.
Suitable for kids 2-12, the range includes Multi Gummies, Immune Gummies, Growing Bones Gummies as well as Omega Brain Chewables, Multi Chewables, Immune Chewables and Growing Bone Chewables.
Priced from $14.99, you can pick them up directly through their website or at selected grocery stores and pharmacies.
Which one will you pick for your Little Well Being? Gummies or Chewables?
Check out the Superkids Hub for activities, recipes and more information to help grow your Little Well Being’s full potential.
1. The study conducted by YouGov Galaxy Research, polled a representative sample of 1,000 Australians, with respondents with children aged between 2-12 years answering questions regarding children’s health, nutrition and wellbeing
*Always read the label. Use only as directed. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate
This is a sponsored article for Blackmores.