Tips For Feeding Your Toddler
| January 7, 2010
Feeding your toddler can be quite a challenging experience, since s/he may not want to eat what you consider nutritious and healthy food. Your toddler may also want to eat on his/her own with others at the dining table, which can turn out to be quite a messy affair. But you should allow him/her to sit with others during mealtimes as this encourages the child to observe and follow adults’ eating habits. You should buy utensils and cutlery meant specially for kids and serve food to your toddler food in these. Of course, an adult should always be present around the toddler while s/he is eating to help out in situations of emergency like choking on food or continuous hiccups.
One of the basic tenets of feeding toddlers is to let them decide how much food they want to eat. You should remember that toddlers need to eat less food than what they did in the first year of their life as the rate of growth slows down a bit as the child enters his/her pre-school years. Also, as the child grows, s/he begins to take interest in many things other than food; thus, you should also allow your toddler to experiment with different kinds of food and be patient in observing if s/he likes eating something in particular by offering different types of food over and over again. Of course, you should take care to include cereals, bread and cooked rice, milk, cheese and yogurt, fresh fruits and steamed vegetables, cooked peas and beans, fish and lean meats, to supply all the essential nutrients to your child and keep her/his diet well balanced.
You may follow a kids food pyramid, that consists of 6 servings of grain, 2 servings each of fruits and dairy products, 3 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of meats, and a small serving of sweets. The servings should be roughly a quarter of the amount of that meant for an adult. Overall, the toddler’s needs are fulfilled if she/he consumes roughly 1000 calories daily. Do not try to feed your toddler a large amount of food at one sitting. Three regular meals interspersed with two snacks should be sufficient if your toddler has a normal appetite and physical activity level. It is a good idea to cut fruits and vegetables into pieces of a size that the toddler finds easy to put into her/his mouth and eat.
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