How can I keep my child on a healthy track when he's not in my care?
Others will care for your child from time to time, whether at preschool, the babysitter's, or a play date. Even when you're not there to supervise, you can still influence good food choices for your toddler.
Instill Good Habits at Home
If your little one is accustomed to healthy foods, he may be less likely to be tempted by sugary, salty, or greasy foods. Teach your toddler healthy eating habits at home so he can take them with him when he's in someone else's care. Set up guidelines about what you want your toddler to eat for meals or snacks and share them with caregivers.
Guiding Good Food Choices
Here are a few suggestions:
- Eat before you go. If you're traveling to a friend's or relative's home, or your toddler is going to the babysitter's home or his daycare, serve a healthy meal or snack before he leaves so he's not hungry when he arrives.
- Take along a snack. Ask your toddler to help you pick out a nutritious snack that he can bring along. Let him choose from options such as fruit, cheese slices, and whole-grain crackers.
- Communicate eating requests. Make your eating requests known to caregivers. Supply options for your child if his caregiver doesn't have the foods you want served.
- Talk about allergies. If your toddler has any food allergies, make sure his caregiver understands which foods to watch out for and how to read labels and prepare foods.
Occasionally, when your child is in someone else's care, he may be served a food he wouldn't normally have at home. If that happens, don't assume it will undo all the work you've done to help him have a nutritious diet. Just continue to serve nutritious food at home.
Find meal and snack ideas for your toddler in our Menu Planner. Plus, check out our tips on how to help your toddler eat nutritiously when on-the-go.