It’s natural to want to be the perfect parent who lovingly and thoughtfully provides their children with the healthiest homemade snacks and meals. We all want to help our babies grow at the right pace and thrive as they develop into little people – but there’s so much to consider! And so little time to commit to preparing wholesome meals they’ll actually eat and enjoy. It can sometimes seem impossible to get right without sacrificing all your sleep, time and sanity.
The good news is that it can be done! With some creative cooking, a little meal prep and a few tactical snack options, you can make great food choices fast with peace of mind.
What’s Best for Baby
When thinking of the right foods to give your child, consider what your mother used to tell you when you were small – ‘no dessert until you’ve eaten all your veggies!’. Lots of fruits and vegetables are packed with vital nutrients, dietary fibre and slow release sugars that work together to help your child stay focused, alert and full of energy. Every meal or snack you feed your little one should include a side of fruit or veg.
When considering other healthy foods and flavours to introduce to your hungry child, it’s best to reach for the basics: yoghurt, scrambled eggs, oats, cottage cheese and grilled chicken are all beneficial in different ways and for different reasons. All the meals you prepare should include at least some lean protein and as much variety as you and your child can manage.
Creativity is key
If you’re one of the lucky parents with a child who picks up new tastes, flavours and textures with ease, good for you! For the rest of us, here’s where we’ll need to start thinking creatively. To encourage a healthy curiosity for food at the dinner table, try to make your plate of food as similar as possible to theirs. If you put on a good show while munching on a stem of broccoli, they’ll be far more willing to try it themselves. If that doesn’t work, you can always hide the veggies they hate inside a beautifully presented pasta or soup topped with cheese.
If you’ve ever made a big pot of spaghetti on a Sunday afternoon to save yourself from the tedious chore of cooking dinner after work for the week, congratulations, you’re meal prepping! You can prepare a wide variety of bite-sized snacks to feed your child as tasty, healthy snacks for busy weeks. Muffins, meatballs and oat crunchies store well in the fridge and taste good even after you’ve stuffed them with as much veggies as possible.
Purees can also provide a convenient alternative that gets the job done. Make your life even easier by cooking with purees instead of wasting time cutting up fresh fruit and veg into tiny, indistinguishable pieces. We recommend using the 100% fruit and veg purees from Squish to bulk up their made-ahead meals and snacks with the healthy veggies you actually want them to eat. We love Squish pouches because they’re full of tasty fruits and veg, and nothing else! They are free of preservatives, colourants and flavourants and have no added cane sugar.
If you’re in a hurry in the morning and didn’t have time on the weekend to prepare balanced meals for your child in advance, Squish 100% fruit and veg pouches are easy snacks that make life much easier for you when there’s simply no time to cook. Squish pouches come in a variety of different flavours that can be added to many different recipes. Visit the Squish website for a range of tasty recipes you can make ahead.
Over to You
Now it’s your turn to take what you’ve learned and make mealtimes healthy, tasty and fun! We can’t be perfect parents all the time, but hopefully we’ve shown you that it’s not that difficult to add some extra fruit and veg into their foods to help them grow up big and strong.
Learn more about how Squish can help you feed your little one more tasty veggies on their website: https://squish.co.za/
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Reading Time: 3 minutesIt’s natural to want to be the perfect parent who lovingly and thoughtfully provides their children with the healthiest homemade snacks and …