Pregnancy.org Members Speak Out: Backing Up Your Child's Nutrition

by Courtney Sullivan

Backing up your child's nutritionYour baby seemed keen on non-stop feedings and would try anything -- including lint from the floor. Now as a toddler, those eating preferences have changed. A typical day's menu includes two bites and a little sunshine. Remarkable how they survive on air, isn't it?

As an almost two-year-old, your child might have discovered that taste buds equal power. Does everything but cereal get two thumbs down? Perhaps your preschooler insists they only want to eat a cheese sandwich...for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe your seven-year-old absolutely refuses to eat fruits -- ever!

At some point, most parents share a concern that their child may not be getting enough to eat or maybe not enough of the right balance of foods.

Whatever your child's personal quirk, the bottom line is that food pyramid you're aiming for has toppled to look more like a flat pancake. We've pulled together our member's favorite tips into an parent's "healthy and stealthy" food guide. The kids will never suspect a thing!

Pregnancy.org's Healthy and Stealthy Food Guide

Everything's Better with Dip!

"My kids love veggies, but only with a dip. I make a healthy dip in the blender or food processor -- a block of silken tofu, greek yogurt, cottage cheese or hummus with spices or herbs to flavor. They love it and actually eat some of the vegetables along with the dip!" ~Nicole

Toddler's Choice

"A successful breakfast standby is that she chooses the flavor! I put 1/3 of cup quick oats, 1/2 cup water in the microwave for 1 minute. Then I add "toddler choices." Today my 20-month-old daughter asked for unsweetened Mott's® fruit, little cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of my French vanilla creamer for the "oooh it's momma's" factor." ~natesangel

Make it Miniature

"The little girl I babysit loves anything small. Tiny cubes of cheese, small slices of celery with peanut butter and mini muffins are a huge hit. Basically anything she can easily eat with her fingers mades her happy. ~Annie"

The Mommy and Daddy Factor

"If it's on daddy's plate it must taste better. I ALWAYS give daddy an extra serving, especially peas. It doesn't matter if she sees me dish it all from the same container, daddy's plate tastes better." ~Mara

All in the Presentation

"My preschoolers willingly munch on raw cauliflower if I call it special popcorn. I wash a head a cauliflower and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Then I toss with sea salt, cracked black pepper, nutritional yeast, and a splash of olive oil." ~Flora

For the Grazer in Your House

"If I seat my almost two-year-old son at the table with a plate, he eats three bites and it "all foo." Now I put a few healthy snacks -- like cubed cheese, cut up vegetables, hummus and pita bread in a muffin tin and leave them down at his level. In a couple hours the meal's gone." ~Denise

Hide It!

"I read that you can add pureed vegetables to most sauces and to cookies and muffins and the family doesn't notice the difference. I'm sneaking nutrition into their favorite food and we're all happy." ~Jessica

How do you try to insure your child gets the necessary nutrition? Share your secrets or ask for advice if you have a tough "nut" to crack (literally).

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