Snacks and mealtimes

To make sure your toddler is hungry at meal time, don’t let him have too much to drink or have a snack too close to meal time.

Choices for mealtime

Children love choices so put out some vegetables, bite-size fruits, cut-up meat, some chickpeas & a bit of pasta with sauce for dinner

First foods

Pediatricians often suggest introducing toddler to veggies first. Steamed green beans, & diced carrots are fun to eat & nutritious

Portion control tip

Offer smaller portions to start & let child ask for more. This lets them feel he has more control rather than you trying to force feed.

Serving sizes for toddlers

The typical serving size for a toddler is about 1/4 of what an adult size serving would be.

Portion control

The idea that children should sit at the table until they ‘clean’ their plate is out of fashion. Instead, children should be taught to recognize when they are full and then stop eating.

Dining schedule for toddlers

Toddlers rarely follow a traditional meal pattern. They tend to need small and regular snacks. This suits small tummy sizes and provides the energy to keep moving all day. The amount eaten at mealtimes, in particular the evening meal, may be smaller than parents would like. However, children can balance the amount of food eaten with exactly how much they need if they are not forced to overeat or finish all the food on the plate.

eye contact tip

Eye contact and calm, soft interactions while feeding aid in digestion as well as in establishing trusting relationships with caregivers.

Prepare for eating out

Keep a tupperware container in the car & take it out when waiting in a restaurant with toddler. Load it with crayons, markers, paper & tape

Sippy cup tip.

If your child is unable or unwilling to tip up a sip cup try a reusable straw drink container. Small children tend to suck more readily than tip up a cup and this will encourage less bottle use!

Table safety tip

Do not place hot fluids on tablecloths in case the child pulls on the tablecloth.

Food clean up tip

After mealtime while your child is still in the high chair – give them a warm washcloth to play with and you’ll be amazed at how much they will have cleaned themselves up after about 10 minutes of playing with it!

Eating out with toddlers

When dining out each parent should try to order something out of either their main entree or sides that the child will like.

This way the child will have a variety of food to eat if he decides he doesn’t like something that night that he usually loves.

Milk for babies, toddlers and kids

Breast milk has all the appropriate vitamins and minerals for babies. Best choice of milk for children after age 1 is ‘whole milk.’ It is recommended to switch to low-fat milk after age 2 or 3.

Emotional attachment to food

Toddlers develop an emotional attachment to food. Do not overfeed your toddler with snackfoods and other unhealthy foods. This will help develop good eating habits for life.

Tantrums and dessert

When dining out, if you want a dessert but you know your child is on the edge of throwing a temper tantrum because they have been seated for too long, try ordering your dessert to go.

Milk Tip

For children, who don’t care for milk, add a few drops of food coloring and serve with a straw.

Hard Candy Hazard

Do not offer hard candy, nuts or popcorn to children under age four.  Cut grapes, hot dogs, carrots and such into small pieces to avoid choking.

Introducing new foods

Introduce one new food at a time. Add another new food after four or five days. Waiting allows the baby to get used to new flavors and allows you to identify any problem foods easily if allergic reactions occur.

Drinking Liquids with kids around

Never drink hot objects while your child is sitting on your lap. Sudden movements can cause a spill.