3 Immune Boosting Foods Your Tot Can Make Themselves
Encourage your tot to prepare healthy snacks for themselves! Here’s how…
The desire to encourage kids to eat immune-boosting foods is stronger than ever but, as any parent knows, you can’t always make kids eat everything. You can certainly encourage them though.
Children are much more likely to eat something that they’ve helped to prepare. And the bonus is that learning to prepare food is a fantastic way to encourage independence, focus and fine motor skills.
These three immune-boosting snacks are so simple that your tot can make them themselves.
For Toddlers: Peeling Clementines
Even young toddlers can get involved with preparing healthy snacks! Peeling clementines is a great place to start because the peel comes off so easily and clementines are full of vitamin C.
Help your tot get started by removing the first piece of peel for them before handing over the task. Provide a little bowl for them to put the peel in and they can bring it to the garbage or compost themselves.
Extension: Slightly older toddlers can squeeze citrus juice into a glass of water. Using a garlic press works really well for small hands to squeeze out the juice. This encourages drinking water and getting more vitamin C, both great for the immune system!
For Preschoolers: Fruit Salad
Provide a selection of fruits and vegetables for your child to wash and chop. You can make this very simple with bananas and clementines or more challenging with fruits like apples, kiwi (super high in vitamin C) and cucumbers, depending on your child’s kitchen skill level.
Preschoolers can wash the fruit and veg themselves using either a small tub of water or a step stool at the kitchen sink. They can chop with supervision using a wavy chopper or child-safe knife.
Extension: Slice a pomegranate in half and let your child remove the arils! A good way to do this is to break the pomegranate apart in a large pot of water. The arils will sink to the bottom and the peel and pith will float so it’s easy to separate.
For Elementary Kids: Yogurt Dip for Veggies
Older kids can prepare a vegetable platter for the whole family!
For the yogurt dip, combine 1 cup of greek yogurt, 1-2 minced garlic cloves, the juice of half a lemon and a sprinkle of salt. Fresh herbs like dill or cilantro are a great addition as well.
Greek yogurt is full of probiotics, lemons have vitamin C and raw garlic is one of the most potent immune boosters around.
For an extra vitamin c boost, your tot can slice bell peppers to dip – they’re higher in vitamin C than oranges!
Alternative: Make guacamole. Combine mashed avocado with a squeeze of lime juice, a minced garlic clove and a sprinkle of salt. Add a dash of cumin or a bit of cilantro if you like.
You can make these activities available for your child to choose whenever they want. Make some space on a low kitchen shelf and set out the tools they’ll need. Before you know it, they’ll be independently enjoying healthy snacks all day.
- Montessori Educator Christina Clemer shares five simple tips for creating a Montessori-friendly set up at home for your toddler.
- There are things you can do was early as the newborn phase to help your baby develop independence and concentration- skills that will serve him for his whole life. See our Montessori baby guide.