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.

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.

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.

Fluids and sick toddler

There are a number of ways that you can replace fluids in your sick toddler. Water, juice, popsicles, broth and jell-O are all good choices.

Trying new foods

A couple of tablespoons are usually plenty to serve, especially for new foods. Small plates and small portions are just right for small eyes and stomachs.

Mixing new foods with old favorites

Keep the old, while bringing in the new: It is best to introduce a new food when served with a food he already likes.

Children and food

Don’t overreact, scold, bribe, beg, or reward with a treat to get your toddler to eat. Over-controlling turns down the volume of the natural internal cues for hunger and fullness.

Binging toddlers

Toddlers from one to three years need between 1,000 and 1,300 calories a day, yet they may not eat this amount every day. Aim for a nutritionally-balanced week, not a balanced day.

Leading by example

Children learn by watching you, so set healthy mealtime habits. Turn off the TV and let your toddler enjoy meals with the family.

Toddler table for 1

Create a toddler-friendly eating area for your child. Toddlers like their own spaces and may eat more at a table sized just for them.

Fun and healthy snacks

Kids think that immersing foods in tasty dip is pure fun. Possibilities include cottage cheese, guacamole and peanut butter.

Is your toddler a picky eater?

Even if your toddler is a picky eater, if he is growing normally and is physically active, with a lot of energy, then his diet is probably okay.

Millions with food allergies

If your child has a food allergy, they’re not alone. It’s estimated that up to 5 million children in the US have a food allergy.

Respect your toddler’s likes and dislikes.

Respect your toddler’s likes and dislikes. Gently encourage your toddler to try at least one bite of a new food. You may have to offer a new food 10-20 times before your child likes it.

Is it necessary for kids to clean their plates?

Trust your child’s appetite if he is growing normally, has energy and is healthy. Never force your child to clean his plate. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits over time.

Growth and eating

You may notice that your toddler does not eat as much food before. During her first year of life, she grew extremely fast. Now that growth has tapered off, so she doesn’t need to eat as much.

Practicing motor skills with food

Cooked peas, corn, and green beans can help toddlers practice using their pincher grip to develop small motor skills as they enjoy a healthy meal.

Falling asleep easily

Drinking a glass of warm milk before bed is a time-tested way to fall asleep. The amino acid l-Tryptophan is thought to play a role in making you sleepy.