As parents, our priority is to make sure that children are intaking enough vitamins and nutrients, so when they don’t finish food in their plate we are often concerned. This January the operation “Finish the meal” begins, are you ready for this challenging task? Just follow these easy and fun tips and you’ll make it!

Well, we are totally aware that finishing the meal on the plate is not easy for all children and not all tips will probably work for your baby, because every child is different, but if you apply this method and tweak them according to you child needs, you will see great achievements. Let’s start and good luck!

Little by little

Usually, the amount of food we expect children to eat is not the one they will be able to eat. In other words: do not ask too much and too fast. If you start small, they will likely pick at it faster, while they acquire the habit to finish their food. You can always add food to the dish as it goes.

Ask them to help prep meals

Children love to be asked to help in the kitchen because they can get creative and inspired.

Moreover, playing and cooking, children also learn to become more independent in the future.

Well, there’s another benefit of cooking together and you can test it even in your new mission. When children help you to prepare their meal, they will likely enjoy more their food because of the gratitude towards the work and time they put into the preparation. Try it for yourself and you’ll see!

In order to help children learn how to handle ingredients and to acquire confidence with food, some training is necessary, of course. Well, Hape Kitchen & Food toys are here for this! Children love to simulate adult’s behaviours and role play help them grow in several and important ways, do you want to know more? Read how important is role play in children’s development and discover all Hape Role Play toys, the best to encourage toddlers become more confident with food and vegetables.

Any  example?

A soft and tender vegetable basket with peas, eggplants, carrots and potatoes: toddlers can play with it and see vegetables like some fun and colorful companions and they’ll probably find them pleasant to eat too!

It’s time to tie your apron strings and let your toddler wear the appropriate chef outfit. We can’t wait to know if these tricks will work with your toddlers!

Let them choose their meal

Lunch time can be a fun time, especially if toddlers can choose their own meal! Involve them in the meal choice asking them what they’d like to eat. You can let them free to choose fries once in a while but ensure there’s some salads or vegetables as side dish. Choosing their meal help children to be more responsible and live lunch time as a happy moment when they can affirm their identity and their role in family.

Play with food

As always, play can help parents to make things easier.

You can pour milk or a nourishing fruit or vegetable smoothie in a glass with a fun character figure printed on it and encourage children to drink even more in order to discover the whole figure on the glass.

You can also print a food group chart and every time they eat a food, children get a sticker to place on the section of the chart appropriate to the food group. This activity is very effective with toddlers, since it stimulates them to eat more and diversified food. Moreover, they can keep on playing.

Well, all the tricks we talked about in this article have been tested by parents who tried to find a way to help their children finish their meal on the plate. We’re pretty sure you’ll find many other solutions that work right for your toddlers, so what’s your best one?