The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends adults should aim for 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit. Because toddlers are smaller, they require less vegetables and fruit each day. It is generally accepted that toddlers should be offered 4 "toddler" sized vegetable serves (1 regular serving = 1/4 cup cooked vegetable) and at least 1 serve of fruit (1 banana, apple, or orange, approximately 150g). Remember, too, variety is key. Offer a variety of vegetables and fruit in a variety of colours so they take in a range of nutrients.
Here are a few creative ideas for bringing more fruit and veges into your toddler's diet.
- Freeze it – try freezing berries or a banana, then blending a few pieces with your toddler’s favourite drink. It makes a tasty smoothie over summer, and you can have the rest of the frozen fruit in a smoothie of your own.
- Adapt it – try adding fruit and veges into your existing recipes. Fruit slices work well in your pikelets, and chopped veges can really bring an omelette to life!
- Dip it – try a tasty spread or dip, but instead of crackers use fruit or lightly cooked vegetable sticks. This works well for both sweet and savoury options.
- Mix – grated pumpkin or puréed cauliflower make great thickeners for soups or casseroles. They also add a little sweetness that your toddler is sure to appreciate.
- Add to it – you can always extras to your toddler’s ready-made meals. A little grated carrot or some tasty mashed veges can give extra flavour and texture.