Creatures of habit
Shape their preferences early on
During toddlerhood, your child forms their food likes and dislikes. We look at how you can influence their food preferences from an early age, and how you might avoid a broccoli boycott later.
Preferences are natural
Children innately prefer sweet and salty foods over more bitter-tasting ones. These preferences helped our early foraging ancestors seek out food such as sweet fruits and salty shellfish, and avoid bitter tastes that could mean the food was toxic: some poisonous berries, for example.
Nature versus nurture
Toddlers’ food preferences vary widely between individuals, but they can be modified, particularly in early childhood. In fact, environmental influences are the most important factor in setting food preferences by the time your toddler is 22 months old, so now is the time to encourage your toddler to love their vegetables.
A normal phase that some toddlers and children go through between the ages of two and six is neophobia – they are afraid of trying new foods, preferring to stick with familiar ones. Again, this behaviour is thought to go back to our omnivorous hunter-gatherer ancestors who would initially be very wary of picking and eating new foods in case they were harmful.
Often, toddlers refuse
Model positive experiences
Make mealtimes positive experiences, with plenty of praise when your toddler tries a new food, or one that they’ve previously refused. And try to eat together as a family whenever possible so your toddler can see everyone enjoying a variety of the same foods as them and want to join in.
Maximise exposure to a variety of foods
Another great way to train your toddler’s tastebuds is to make healthy food the norm at home. Keep your cupboards and fridge stocked with
A balanced diet for toddlers with Aptamil Growing Up Milk
Aptamil Growing Up Milks are tailored to your toddler’s stage of development. Aptamil Growing Up Milk 1-2 years contains a unique blend of ingredients nutritionally tailored for your toddler, including iron for normal cognitive development as part of a varied, balanced diet. It comes in a range of formats from powder to ready-to-drink Growing Up Milk, including a resealable one-litre pack and a handy 200ml carton for when you are out and about.
Source: The Huffington Post UK