Nurturing healthy eating habits in young children starts at home.
Besides leading by example and offering nutritious homecooked meals where possible, there are several ways parents can encourage healthy eating habits and teach them the benefits of eating well.
Developed by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), My Healthy Plate presents the ideal servings and food suggestions for feeding your toddler. Babies above 6 months of age can be fed with formula milk such as Einmilk, as part of their daily diet to supplement their required nutritional intake.
The importance of eating nutritious food and healthy eating can be instilled in toddlers so that they understand how to take care of their bodies from the early years.
What better way than to learn from books? We’ve compiled a list of fun books on toddler nutrition and healthy eating for gadget-free, parent-child bonding time.
- Why Should I Eat Well?
Why Should I Eat Well? is a question and answer picture storybook that answers the common questions kids have about food and how eating well relates to their fitness. The book shows how eating fried and fatty foods make one lethargic and even sick while eating well makes skin shiny and keeps them energised. There are notes at the back for teachers and parents with follow up questions and suggestions, so parents can pique their child’s mind through discussions about healthy eating.
- I Eat Vegetables
Comprising clear photographs of vegetables with their names, I Eat Vegetables is a perfect book for very young children to learn about commonly seen vegetables. In addition, they learn which types of vegetables need to be peeled before eating.You can prepare some vegetables for your toddler to touch and feel while reading the book for a multi-sensorial experience.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a perennial favourite with children. Other than teaching toddlers about the life cycle of a butterfly, it shows how the caterpillar starts with healthy food and eventually falls ill after gorging itself with junk food. Children learn not only about eating healthy food but eating in moderation as well. The holes in the pages make it fun for toddlers to poke their tiny fingers through.
- Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food
Stan and Jan Berenstain
Old but gold, the Berenstain Bears are a familiar classic for kids. In this book, Papa bear and the cubs learn how to adjust their diets after gorging on too much junk food and tipping the scales.
- I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
In this book from the Charlie and Lola series, Lola is a fussy eater who absolutely refuses to eat her carrots, mashed potatoes and many other things, especially tomatoes. Her brother Charlie uses imaginative ways to describe the vegetables to eat. This book presents encouraging support from siblings, and some kids do need creative encouragement when it comes to eating their veggies.
These children books can be purchased from bookstores or borrowed from our local libraries. As with all habits, healthy eating habits in toddlers take time to develop, so don’t feel too discouraged if you don’t see instant results!