A mommy's guide to healthy eating for toddlers

The toddler stage is one of the most difficult stages for any mother to get through. This is because toddlers are just learning how to communicate with others, but can often become frustrated when we don't understand them. Another contributing factor is the fact that toddlers are learning how to express their feelings more openly, which can often times result in pouting or throwing a tantrum. Due to the toddler's discovery of independence, one of the most trying things most mothers deal with is getting their toddler to eat healthy. In fact, getting toddlers to eat healthy often times calls for creative and innovative thinking on mommy's part.

One of the best ways to get your toddler to eat healthy foods is to let her exercise her newly found independence by making choices. This doesn't mean you take her to the supermarket and let her pick out anything and everything she wants. You will have to guide her. For example, when you are at the supermarket, give her the choice of getting grapes or oranges. Then, whichever she picks out goes in your cart. These are both healthy foods that she can eat at snack time. So, when snack time rolls around, grab the fruit and say excitedly, "Look! Let's eat the _____ you picked out!" Most of the time, your toddler will be excited to eat the food she helped pick out.

Another way to get your toddler to eat healthy is to cook creatively. For instance, many mothers are learning how to get their picky toddlers to eat vegetables by pureeing them up and blending them in with food they like. A good example for this is pureeing butternut squash and mixing it in with the cheese mixture for macaroni and cheese. While the idea may be new to you, there are actually several cookbooks out with yummy recipes using this technique. One in particular is by Jerry Seinfeld's wife called Deceptively Delicious.

Just as every toddler is unique, there are different things that will work for each child. Therefore, when healthy eating is the goal, find something that works and use it for as long as possible. You may have to change tactics later on, but until that time comes, be consistent with what works!