How on earth are we meant to be getting ten a day into a fussy toddler? Some days I don’t get five a day! What can we do to include more fruit and veg in our kid’s diet? I investigated whether it was actually possible to squeeze ten portions of fruit and veg into a day of eating. Read more to find out how we got on!
It’s worth saying here that my child is a typical two year old…he eats pretty well but has his fussy days. I’d say he gets his five a day maybe four or five out of seven but he also has less healthy treats at the weekend too. Vegetables are the biggest battle in our house. My toddler, like many, is very hit and miss. So I decided, let’s got for it…let’s try and get ten portions of fruit and veg into one day. It will be a sure-fire way of seeing if it is possible. As we all know…toddlers don’t tend to ‘tow the line’ if they don’t want to do something! To make sure I was prepared for the challenge, I made a mental action plan of what we were going to eat that day…here it is:
(It’s worth mentioning here, I’m measuring a portion as roughly the size of my child’s palm…)
- chopped melon (1/10)
- blueberries (2/10)
- Yoghurt and toast
- Cashew and date bar
- Butternut pesto pasta (3/10) I’ll publish the recipe at the end of this article.
- Sweetcorn (4/10)
- Green beans (5/10)
- Banana (6/10)
- Satsuma (7/10)
- Rice pudding
- Little Dish pop-pops
- Fish pie with;
- Carrots (8/10)
- Spinach (9/10)
- Peas (10/10)
How did we get on?
Well, not bad, really. Breakfast was demolished and he did a pretty good job at lunch, clearing about two thirds of the pasta and veggies (which surprised me). Initially, he pushed it away declaring…”No, Mummy! Yoghurt”, but after a bit of persuasion and eventually letting him eat with my fork, he did eat well.
Dinner was an EPIC FAIL however. He refused the lot and asked for yoghurt. Pass the wine!
So, is it possible?
Well, yeah. But I don’t think it’s realistic. Was this day a ‘perfect’ balanced diet? Probably not…could I feed my son like this EVERY DAY? No…
DOES THIS MEAN MY KID IS UNHEALTHY?
I hope not. I don’t think so. In my husband’s opinion. The ten-a-day theory is a ploy by the man from Del Monte to make us buy more fruit. He is joking, of course. But there is something about all this that is nagging at me. Is a new rule going to help us to eat more healthily? Are we all suddenly going to start eating better because someone said we should. No.
The way we teach our children to eat well is to educate them…to teach them to plant, to prepare, to cook. To expose them to food in general…not ‘good’ food and ‘bad’ food.
I got really pissed off half way through doing this ‘experiment’. I realised I was feeling disheartened because my child had eaten 7 portions of fruit and veg…7…SEVEN! That’s awesome. Like off the chart amazing. This was a GOOD day.
So I guess what I’m saying is…if you are teaching your child about good eating habits, about feeding themselves and living a healthy lifestyle. Then WELL DONE YOU!! Ten a day? Five a day? Two a day? Does it even matter? You got through the day.
There are loads of yummy recipes on my site for healthy snacks and tasty toddler meals. But if you don’t make it to ten a day…I’ll not be knocking down your door. You are doing great.