Calories in your tots diet

Drinks can sneak extra calories into your preschooler’s diet. Use this list to find out the calories and sugar in common preschooler beverages like juice, milk, soda, fruit punch and sports drinks.

From: preschoolrock.com Opens in new window

Nuts and seeds

Think of nuts and seeds as little storage units for nutrients. Almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, and hazelnut butter are great alternatives to peanut butter but with the same healthy fats, minerals, fiber and vitamins.

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Toddler meals

Lunch is a really important meal for your preschooler. It should provide more than 1/4 of the day’s total calories and contain a mix of the healthy food groups.

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Food jag

Most children undergo a normal part of development know as a food jag. Food jags occur when children either refuse to eat a previously accepted food, or when they insist on eating one particular food all the time.

From: faqs.org Opens in new window

Overweight kids

According to the national Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, 10.2 percent of children in the United States under the age of five were overweight in 1998.

From: faqs.org Opens in new window

Drinking lots of water.

To help your toddler drink adequate amounts of water, always have this on the table at meal and snack times.

A jug of chilled water in the fridge with slices of lemon or a sprig of mint tastes good while in summer you can freeze small pieces of chopped fruit in ice blocks and add to his water.

Always take filled water bottles when you go out with your toddler so you do not have to resort to buying unsuitable liquids if he gets thirsty.

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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.

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Eat Healthy

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

From: betterhealth.vic.gov.au Opens in new window

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.

From: iloveindia.com Opens in new window

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.

From: healthcastle.com Opens in new window

Teach healthy eating

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

From: surgeongeneral.gov Opens in new window

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.

From: pediatrics.about.com Opens in new window

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.

From: askdrsears.com Opens in new window

Six servings of grains

Kids ages 12 to 24 months need at least six 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.

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Sippy cups and excess

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

Getting too much milk throughout the day can curb your toddler’s appetite at mealtime. And unlike formula or breast milk, cow’s milk is not complete nutrition. It doesn’t contain iron, so a diet heavy in milk can result in anemia.

From: toddlerstoday.com Opens in new window

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.

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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. Choose low fat (reduced fat) milk. Low fat milk has 1 to 2% fat. Don’t give skim milk (’99.9% fat free’) to children under 5 years old.

From: cyh.com Opens in new window

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. But if you give them regular snacks, they’ll get in all of their nutrients.

From: momlogic.com Opens in new window

Toddlers and meal time

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

 If you feed your toddler whole foods then you will find that they will get much more energy and be sustained for longer periods of time than if you use refined high energy foods which have very little nutritional value.

From: toddler-activities-at-home.com Opens in new window

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.

The amount eaten from day to day can change dramatically. Although this sometimes worries parents, this change is normal and doesn’t mean your child is being difficult or is unwell.

From: betterhealth.vic.gov.au Opens in new window