When I learned it was National Nutrition Month in March, believe it or not, I got excited for two reasons: nutrition in general is very important to me and I work for a dental practice now. After watching the documentaries “Forks Over Knives” and “40, Fat, and Nearly Dead,” my husband and I decided to change our eating lifestyle to focus on mostly plant-based meals. Most importantly, I’ve learned that oral health impacts overall health from my role as the Marketing Director for a dental group. Gum disease can cause a multitude of inflammatory illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and even diabetes. That means you’ve got to keep your teeth clean as well as watch what you eat! I have a four-month-old and a 21-month-old at home and I want to ensure that they eat well (not always easy to do with a picky toddler). So here are five tips for sneaking healthy food into your toddler’s diet:
- Cooked spinach in pasta with red sauce. When it’s chopped up they don’t even notice (and we all know spinach makes you strong)!
- Get them used to whole-grain wheat bread (not multigrain) right away so they don’t even think “white bread” is a normal option. Whole-grain foods are a healthier because they contain nutrients, fiber, and healthy plant compounds found naturally in the grain. Multigrain means not all the grains are whole.
- I love the ReSqueeze reusable pouches. I make all types of homemade fruit/veggie purees to sneak in healthy snacks and it saves money. Don’t have time to make them from scratch? Try the organic pre-made fruit pouches like HappyFamily HappyTot with choline and Chobani Tots with omega-3 DHA.
- My daughter currently is obsessed with juice in the morning. In order to limit her sugar intake, I pour it into her Munchkin sippy cup and add water to dilute it.
I hope these tips inspire other ideas for keeping your little ones healthy. Happy National Nutrition Month!