After my rant on children’s menus, I am happy to say that I have discovered a wonderful product that helps your toddler learn about how to eat healthy.
It’s called a Children’s Nutrition Tracker from a company called An Apple A Day. This magnetic chart hangs on your refrigerator (or folds neatly like a cute little laptop) and has sliding markers for each of the food groups. You slide them over for each portion of each food group your toddler eats during the day – there’s even a column for treats and physical activity! A handy chart at the bottom tells you what is considered a portion and how many a toddler should have each day.
At first, I wasn’t even sure how this would be helpful. I fanatically keep track off all of this in my head every day because I am absolutely obsessed with having my son eat a healthy, balanced diet. What changed when I started to use it, though, was the buy in from my son. He loves sliding over the counters and he loves learning what the little pictures mean. It has changed his level of cooperation completely. I cannot stress this enough – he his now eating VEGETABLES! WILLINGLY! RAW ONES! He can’t wait to tell me that he finished them and how good they are for him. As I am writing this he came over to tell me how milk and Cheerios will make him grow up big and strong. It has been totally transformative.
Now don’t get me wrong – he won’t eat all veggies yet. So far carrots and pea pods have been popular. He asked me to buy a cucumber at the store. It’s still a no go for squash and tomatoes, but I am hopeful. He even said he was willing to try broccoli if it had cheese sauce on it (we’ll see how that goes). These are all really big steps forward and I have this chart to thank for it.
The extremely nice people at An Apple a Day have given me a discount code if you want to try the cart out for yourself. Just enter the word FAMILY in the promo code box during checkout and you can get 20% off the tracker price! Let me know what you think of it if you do!