Feeding your pre-schooler


Feeding your 3 or 4 year old can be such a challenging time.  I thought I'd offer some tips which I've learned from my training and also what worked with my kids.  

  • First get to know how much your children should be eating and look at the pattern over a week not a day.  Children have small stomachs so don't expect them to eat adult portions.  As a parent you have the responsibility to provide the food and decide  where and when the food is served but children can decide how much to eat
  • Associate food your child likes (for example cherry tomatoes) with new food (for example asparagus).
  • If you have a friend with a child who eats well encourage some shared meals as positive peer modelling helps establish healthy eating behaviours.  My children had such a fabulous introduction to spaghetti vongole (clams) by enjoying it with friends their age
  • Parental modelling  - studies have shown that children are more likely to try a food if they see their parent eating it.  A well controlled trial found that eating a previously disliked vegetable was increased following two weeks of exposure, encouragement to eat the vegetable and the parent modelling eating and liking the veggies (think about your own childhood here, I still don't like broccoli since having it referred to as my "horrible" vegetable that I was forced to eat.)
  • If your child is hungry just before dinner, this is a great time to give them the veggie part of the meal - say some carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and celery
  • Don't let your child over consume milk. Milk is a great, nutritious food but drinking more than 600 mL a day can displace room for other food sources, plus block iron absorption.

My favourite meals for preschoolers:

  • crumbed lamb cutlets served with green beans and carrots.  http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/crispy-lamb-chops-223
  •  photo credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/redisdead

    photo credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/redisdead

  • burgers (perfect for tired eaters), make the buns small and soft served with carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes http://www.nourishd.co/?p=69
  • chicken drumsticks served with coleslawhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2616789/My-good-life-guide-KFC-Kid-Friendly-Chicken.html
  •  chilli


  • tacos served with grated carrot and baby spinach http://www.nourishd.co/?p=148
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