Steering Toddlers Toward Nutritious Foods

My daughter has recently started asking for snacks, and not the healthy kind. Even though I've been buying fruit for as long as she's been eating table food, I don't think I've ever heard her say, "Can I have an apple, Mommy?"

She wants sugar -- candy, cake, cookies, ice cream -- all swimming in chocolate.

The problem for me is that I'm a sucker for cute.

"Can I have a bar, Mommy? Please?" she'll say, with bright eyes and a hopeful look on her face that makes me feel like the meanest mommy on the planet if I disappoint her by telling her, "No."

On those occasions when I manage to tell her, "No, no candy. But doesn't a banana or apple sound yummy?" I am often treated to a temper tantrum that is not so cute, so saying no at this point generally gets a little easier.

But it's not just snack time I struggle with. I try to balance the not healthy (corn dogs) with the healthy (veggies), but by the end of the meal, all that will be left on her plate is a pile of green beans.

Both my mother and mother-in-law have said to just keep putting the good stuff in front of her. Eventually, she'll start trying it, they say.

So I do. On Saturday, I made baked sweet potato fries for her. She hardly touched them.

"It's icky," she told me. 

Hopefully, this gets easier soon.


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