The determination to learn and grow seems to be hardcoded into the human genome. To observe a healthy, happy toddler is to witness this first hand. Around the time they reach their first birthday they are up on their little legs, wobbling and toddling about ever so eager to get proficiency over their new found form and keep up with their tribe around them. Such consistent efforts require a steady stream of high quality nutrients to support their growing bodies’ needs.
There’s nothing quite like a curious toddler to keep you young and on your toes. The question is how do we as parents and caregivers not only keep up with them, but stay 1-step ahead, making sure they are well nourished and cared for as they take those first enthusiastic steps into their new world?
Nature nurtures naturally and nothing beats breastmik as the ultimate superfood for your baby. Thanks to the World Health Organization breastfeeding is now encouraged for at least 2 years, and many children are enjoying the benefits of long term breastfeeding well into their toddling years. (For more information on superfoods to support breastfeeding and an abundant milk supply click…)
So, how do we ensure optimum nutrition as our babies start to progress onto solid foods?
First off beware of highly processed and sugary foods, which will have your delightful youngster pinging off the walls like a Tasmanian devil and avoid them as far as possible!
Favour instead plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Eat from the rainbow and expose them to as many colours and as much variety as possible.
Whilst most baby food options are geared towards providing basic macronutrients, a toddler should also have access to a wide array of micronutrients in order to provide the basic building blocks from which to build his or her growing body and thrive.
♥ These are my top 5 superfoods and quick superfood recipes that get the best quality nutrients into my young babes.
The Green Alkaliser provides a wide range of amino acids, the essential building blocks of protein provided by the blend of wheatgrass, barleygrass, moringa and hemp protein powders, as well as baobab providing good calcium and prebiotics.
★ How to use it?
Add a little green alkaliser into your child’s favourite juice. You can also freeze into ice lollies providing your toddler with a healthy and soothing distraction to those difficult teething days.
In my experience almost all children LOVE berries! What’s not to love – they are sweet and delicious, low in sugar and loaded with antioxidants. The simple way to understand antioxidants is to remember that they are pigments of colour which is why the saying ‘eat from the rainbow’ holds so much wisdom. Antioxidants prevent free radical damage, preserving youthfulness and supporting health and longevity.
★ How to use it?
This is one of our family’s favourite berry smoothie recipes:
or try out this Blissful Berry Nice-Cream
STEP 1: Blend all the ingredients together until smooth
STEP 2: Set in the freezer overnight
3. Chia Seeds with Hemp Milk
Chia seeds and hemp seeds with their omega-rich profile are the quintessential brain-fuel for your child’s growing mind. Toddlers are just beginning to explore different taste sensations, and sometimes too many flavours can be overwhelming to their senses, so remember to keep it simple.
Chia seeds with a little hemp milk may seem quite plain to your palate, but your toddler will likely love it. Add a little plain yoghurt or a teaspoon of Berry Delight Super Shake if you want to zoop it up.
Avocado pear is top of the toddler’s favourite food list. It is so simple to hide a few extra minerals in the form of wheatgrass inside a simple guacamole. Click here for recipe.
If you are planning on taking your child out for the morning, whether it’s a quick outing to do the grocery shopping or a fun play-date, it’s good to be sure they have that extra boost to sustain their energy for a their adventurous day out (lest you end up being that mom with the tantruming toddler on the floor of the grocery aisle!) Super Oats Vanilla provides the nourishing goodness of 6 superfoods with gluten free oats for sustained energy.
♥ My top 3 tips for raising a toddler that has a healthy appreciation for healthy food.
Spend as much time playing outdoors as possible.
Even if you only have a small space, create a veggie garden, plant a few fruit trees and enlist their help in planting, weeding, growing, collecting and harvesting fresh fruit and vegetables. Kids love fresh food, and most of the time my children have had a healthy meal straight out the garden before we even get into the kitchen!
Enlist their help in the kitchen.
Bring the fruit and veg back into the kitchen and make smoothies, juices, ice lollies, dips etc together. Again you’ll most likely find that they have filled themselves up on delicious healthy fare well before they even reach the dining table. This way, not only are they eating healthy food, they are learning how to prepare healthy food, an essential life skill, and it’s been fun time spent together.
Slow down and enjoy seeing the world anew through their eyes.
By the time you are sitting down to eat chances are your toddler is off having fun exploring his or her world again, leaving you and your partner to enjoy a delicious, healthy meal together and catch a breather, knowing your youngster is super-fueled on great nutrition.
♥♥♥ And lastly, to watch a toddler in action is to witness the most energetic version of yourself running circles around yourself. You can’t beat ’em, so slow down and join them in their present moment and allow yourself to be entertained. Their gift to you is one of seeing the world anew through their eyes. ♥♥♥