Before you had children, you kept hearing about parents who struggled with a "picky eater." You thought it was a myth or assumed that the parents were just being lazy. How difficult can it really be to feed a child? You proudly stated then that when you had a child of your own, you would not have this problem. And things probably went pretty well for you during the first year. Your child ate everything you presented and you started to think that this "picky eater" thing was a joke. Then it happened. One day you had a sweet baby willing to try everything, the next day you had a toddler saying no to the healthiest of foods.
Today's article will not only address why toddlers become picky eaters, but will also highlight a few organic brands that will trick your toddler into eating their fruits and veggies.
We are also offering a giveaway at the end of this message so read on for more details!
Why are toddlers so picky?
Toddlers have a natural tendency towards something known as "food neophobia."
- Food Neophobia
- The fear of anything new; specifically, the rejection of unfamiliar foods, often without ever tasting. Vegetables seem to be particularly prone to the effects of food neophobia.
While we don't know exactly why toddlers make such a fuss over eating their fruits and veggies, we do know a few things:
- Toddlers spend a lot of waking hours mastering new skills such as walking and talking. When it's time to eat, toddlers are often too tired to tolerate anything new, especially new textures or colors in their food.
- A toddler's appetite can temporarily change when they are teething or sick, rejecting foods that they normally love.
- Older toddlers tend to reject food as a way to get our attention or assert their independence, or both. They love getting a reaction out of their parents and we tend to play right into it.
Whatever the case may be, picky eating doesn't usually last forever. So, while you are working through some strategies to encourage your toddler to eat REAL fruits and veggies, here are a few of our favorite organic fruit and veggie snacks.
Sprout’s new wholesome and tasty toddler snacks contain delicious combinations of fruit, veggies and grains. Created with toddlers in mind, they will tide your little sprout over until meal time, whether you are at home or on the go. Naturally sweet and wholesome, Sprout recipes are made with certified organic ingredients and contain no preservatives, artificial colors, flavors or other additives. Their unique recipes will nourish your child’s growth and encourage a love of healthy foods right from the start.
Sprout's Fruit & Veggie Crispy Chews combine fruits, vegetables and crispy brown rice in a chewy snack, tasty enough to compete with any other “fruit” snack on the market. From one mom to another, these hardly taste like vegetables. In fact, if you didn't read the label, you might think that they are only made of fruit. And that's where picky toddlers are tricked into eating their veggies. Imagine eating a fruit flavored rice crispy treat that has been reduced in size by one of "Willy Wonka's" machines. They really are delicious. Both you and your toddler are sure to enjoy them.
Sprout's Fruit & Veggie Crispy Chews can be purchased in four different flavors: orange fruit and carrot, red berry and beet, purple berry and carrot, and tropical fruit and pumpkin.
Sprout's Fruity Yogurt Bites are a tasty combination of freeze dried fruit and yogurt bites with dehydrated fruit bites. For example, raspberry and yogurt are combined in freeze dried bites and mango is included as a dehydrated bite. The texture can be a little strange but little taste buds seem to like it. If you find that your toddler doesn't eat much in the morning, this is a great option.
The Fruity Yogurt Bites come in Banana Pumpkin Yogurt with Real Banana Pieces, Orange Carrot Yogurt with Real Mango Pieces, Raspberry Yogurt with Real Mango Pieces and Strawberry Carrot Yogurt with Real Banana Pieces.
Finally, Sprout offers two snack options that the entire family will enjoy.
- Morning Multigrain Crunch Bites: These bites of crunchy multigrain cereal filled with sweet fruit and veggie goodness are a wholesome and tasty way to start your day, or pop a packet in your diaper bag to enjoy anytime of the day. The ready-to-eat, protein- and fiber-rich crunch bites make a great tasting breakfast replacement or mid-morning snack. We personally love the Orange Fruit and Carrot bites. Other flavors include red berry and beet, and purple berry and carrot.
- Morning Fruit and Nut Granola Mix: These bites are organic blends of nuts, seeds, raisins and other natural ingredients Each bag contains plenty of protein and fiber to keep you going all morning long. Flavors include Purple Berry Raisin, Red Berry Raisin and Orange Peach Raisin.
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Whether at home or on-the-go, Sweetie Pie Organics is doing their part to put nutrition into your child’s daily snacking. Sweetie Pie Organics makes delicious wholesome snacks for toddlers made from certified organic ingredients. The freeze-dried fruits and vegetables used in their snacks are grown fresh on organic US farms, and packed in recyclable packaging. No sugar added, no preservatives, gluten free, non GMO, and organic! Mom win!
Not only are they healthy and good for the environment, they are tasty and fun. The individual packs are the perfect size to carry in your purse, keep in the car or toss a few in your child's lunchbox.
Sweetie Pie Organics snacks come in 3 different combinations:
- Banana + Sweet Corn + Blueberry
- Apple + Green Pea + Pineapple
- Mango + Sweet Corn + Apple
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Plum Organics believe our toddlers deserve a taste of the "good life," even if their tiny taste buds haven't fully matured yet. They also believe that the best way to develop those taste buds is by introducing a variety of foods from the very beginning. Each of their recipes combine unique, flavorful and wholesome ingredients that are perfectly balanced to deliver a delicious bite with all the nutrition mom is looking for. Each of these toddler treats are perfect for on-the-go.
Plum Organics' NEW Mighty 4 Essential Nutrition Bars are baked with whole grains, fruit and veggie goodness, and a touch of yogurt. These delicious bars pack a "mighty punch" with 11 essential vitamins and minerals, and chia. And they’re sized just right, so your toddler on-the-go eater can snack mighty anywhere anytime!
Teensy Fruits are yummy real fruit snacks made without all the yucky stuff. They are perfectly sized for toddler mouths to chew and offer a full serving of fruit in each packet.
Mighty Puff’Ems are savory puffed snacks baked with whole grains, veggies, quinoa and cheddar cheese. They remind us a bit of "cheese puffs" but are way healthier. Each light and airy bite contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals, making them the perfect, nutritious snack for your active toddler.
Plum Organics' products are always certified organic, always nutrient rich, contain no genetically modified ingredients and are friendly to the earth.
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Ruby Rocket’s are a great, refreshing treat for the summer heat! They are the only popsicle that combines non-GMO, 70% organic fruits and vegetables with healthy probiotics. These vegan popsicles have no added sweeteners, artificial flavorings, colorings, fillers, or stabilizers. The only sugars in Ruby Rocket’s are naturally occurring from the fruits and vegetables they are made from which is only 4 grams!
Kids love these pops because they taste great and moms love them because they are nutritious! Ruby Rocket’s come in three mouth-watering flavors:
- Galaxy Green - tropical kiwi, avocado, spinach
- Rock-It Red - organic strawberry, sweet potato, carrot, beet
- Orbit Orange - organic oranges, sweet potato, carrot
While we're on the subject of snacking, let's talk about snack cups. You've probably already tried a few snack cups since your baby became old enough to feed themselves. Chances are, the snack cups you already own are also made of plastic. Recycle the plastic and start using this "Gobble 'n Go" stainless steel snack cup with a removable food grade silicone top.
What we love about this snack cup is that it contains no BPA, no phthalates and no chemicals. The soft silicone top has slits for small fingers to easily reach in for crackers, cereal or any of the snacks in this post without worrying about spills. The Gobble 'n Go also includes a solid top so that there is no mess when throwing your snack bowl in your diaper bag. Take the top off and it becomes a bowl for pudding, pasta, ice cream, or anything else you can think of.
We hope your picky toddler will enjoy at least one of these tasty snack options. But even if they don't, just remember that food resistance is a phase, and that your picky toddler will surely enjoy a much wider menu as long as you keep offering healthy options.
For more on encouraging your toddler to eat healthy food, check out our post on 5 Tips for Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits Early!
One lucky reader will win a Summer Supply of Ruby Rocket's Ice Pops. Please enter using the rafflecopter below.
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Contest open to US residents age 18+ only
Photo Credit: Ashley Sisk and K Timm