Picky eaters

What if an underweight toddler is a picky eater? This is a typical problem with many toddlers, but is one that can be overcome.

It often takes offering a food 15 times before a picky eater will try the food. Try offering new foods to toddlers along with foods that they like and they will eventually experiment with the food.

Teach healthy eating

Provide three nutritious meals supplemented with two to three healthy snacks daily.

Eat Healthy

Be a role model by eating a healthy, balanced and varied diet.

Mercury and ADHD

Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury, which can zap kids’ ability to think and concentrate. For children, these potential side effects occur with much lower levels of exposure than for adults. Kids with ADHD to avoid high mercury fish including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.

Curb treats for good behavior

Curb the tendency of rewarding your toddler with a treat whenever he/she does well, as this will make him/her develop an unhealthy emotional relationship with food.

Toddler serving size

The typical serving size for a toddler is about 1/4 of what an adult size serving would be, so you would only expect a toddler to eat 1/4 of a slice of bread, 1-2 tablespoons of vegetables, or 1 ounce of meat.

Getting past the “picky-eater” stage

If your child is going through a picky-eater stage, invite over a friend who is the same age or slightly older whom you know “likes to eat”. Your child will catch on. Group feeding lets the other kids set the example.

Six servings of grains

Kids ages 12-24 mos need at least 6 servings of grains each day, so snack time is definitely a prime opportunity to sneak some in. Cheerios and other low-sugar cereals are a great quick and easy option.

Sippy cups and excess

Toddlers that are allowed to carry their bottle or sippy cup of milk around all day can actually over drink.

Coconut milk is not real milk

Coconut milk is not really milk and doesn’t provide the same nourishment as normal milks. It contains a lot of fat and provides little else of value to the diet and cannot be used to replace other milks.

Milk guidelines

When deciding on the milk to give your child follow these guidelines: Give full cream milk to children between 1 and 2 years of age. Whole milk has 4% fat. Children over 2 years of age do not need full cream milk.

Growth and diet in child’s second year

Growth slows down in a child’s second year. This means toddlers often have smaller appetites and need less food.

When tots start eating meat

Meat is started somewhere between 9 and 12 months of age. By age 1, she should be consuming about 2 servings from the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans and eggs group per day.

Toddlers and meal time

Most toddlers will not eat three meals a day but will generally prefer to eat 5 to 6 smaller meals.

Weaning of the bottle

By the end of the first year, your child may be well onto the cup and off the bottle. Introducing a cup should be done slowly. Start by giving water or juice in a cup.

Limiting liquids

If your toddler is drinking too much milk and/or juice, she may be too full to eat, so follow the typical recommendations of 16-24 ounces of milk and 4-6 ounces of juice.

Healthy snacks are the key

For picky eaters between the ages of 1 and 3, healthy snacks at regular intervals are key. Toddlers have small appetites, so they won’t eat much at each meal.

Sugars in drinks

Many foods and drinks have sugar added to them. For a sweet treat, pick foods that are naturally sweet, such as strawberries, honey and pineapple, rather than cakes or biscuits.

Think fresh!

Serve as much fresh food as possible. When our babies are small we tend to stew apples, pears and other fruit, but when they no longer need to have mushy food, transition to fresh fruits.

Don’t replace food with fluids

Prevent your toddler from filling up on excessive fluids before meals. Offering sips of water or milk to quench thirst is fine.