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.

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.

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.

Dips and sauces for food

Let your child put cream cheese or peanut butter on celery. Lots of dips and sauces can make your kids enjoy the taste of their food without taking away too much from the nutritious value of the meals.

Eat Healthy

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

Quiet before meals

A quiet activity or a rest before meals or snacks is a good idea as a tired or energized toddler may well not be interested in eating.

Food hazards for toddlers

Toddler’s have one-third the jaw strength of an adult. Softer meats are good alternatives, such as fish, hamburger and high quality lunchmeats.

The trick to get kids eating healthy

The best way to get kids to eat healthy is to give them a choice between two or more healthy foods.

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.

limiting meal times

Limit mealtimes to about 20 – 30 minutes. Research shows that most toddlers eat whatever they are going to in the first 20 minutes.

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.

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.

Appearance is important

For something new and different, why not use your child’s own toy plates for dishing out a snack? Kids enjoy the unexpected.

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.

The make-up of sugar

Sugars supply a large amount of calories, with little nutritional value. They include white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey and molasses and foods like candy, soft drinks, jams, and jellies.

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.

Quiet activities before meals

A quiet activity or a rest before meals or snacks is a good idea as a tired or energized toddler may well not be interested in eating.