Nutrition for Kids' Life: How to Make Your Toddler a Great Eater (WO1006)
November 17, 2015
When Feeding your Toddler
Serve healthy snacks and meals
- Use smaller portion sizes for your toddler. If your toddler is still hungry, offer another small portion.
- Have regular meals and snack times.
- Offer a variety of foods and let your child choose how much he will eat of any food.
- Do not use dessert or treats as a reward or punishment.
- Sit with your child when he eats. Your toddler will enjoy your company.
Trust toddlers' tummies
- Watch for signs that your toddler is full such as playing with food. Some playing with food is okay because your child may be exploring the new foods offered.
- Respect your child’s likes and dislikes.
- Serve food in forms and textures your toddler can eat by himself.
- Remember, toddlers prefer simple foods that they know. Serve a new food with a food your toddler already knows and likes.
Common Food Concerns and Suggested Actions
Child is not willing to try new foods
- Be a good role model by trying new foods and eating healthy meals.
- Give your child one new food at a time, with foods they know and like.
- Offer small amounts of the new food at the beginning of the meal.
- Let your child touch and smell food before tasting it.
Child has a poor appetite
- Try serving five small meals and 2-3 snacks daily, instead of three larger meals.
- Offer small servings of colorful and attractively prepared foods.
- Involve your child in choosing and preparing food.
- Place food in small dishes, bowls and cups.
To Help You Both Enjoy Eating
- encourage trying new foods
- expect spills
- set up a mealtime routine
- treat your child the way you want to be treated
- turn off TV when eating
- force new foods
- overload the plate
- force your child to finish all the food on his plate.
- get angry at the table
Expected Behaviors and Skills
Twelve to eighteen months
- Eats a variety of foods
- Likes eating with hands
- Uses spoon and fork awkwardly
- Drinks from a cup
- Wants foods others are eating
- Tries various behaviors to see how you will react
Eighteen months to two years
- Displays food likes and dislikes
- Likes familiar patterns and routines
- Likes trying foods with different textures
- Is easily distracted
- Uses a spoon and fork with more skill
- Has a very clear idea about eating or not eating
Foods that often cause choking are:
- Hot dogs
- Hard candies
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grapes
- Large chunks of any food such as meat, cheese, raw vegetables and fruits, peanut butter
Ellyn Satter. Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense.
Go to: How to Feed Children 11-36 months: Feeding Your Toddler
Children’s Nutrition: 10 tips for picky eaters
Tags: food & health
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