It’s no secret that most toddlers are picky eaters. They have no problems telling you what they do like…and what do not like. If you find that your child is a picky eater, don’t worry. This is how it is with many other toddlers, and what they will and will not eat can vary daily. You can always offer food that is very nutritious in small doses, and make mealtime fun! Here are a few top toddler-feeding essentials to keep in mind.
1. Make every calorie count for your child. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children between the ages of one to three years old need 1,000 to 1,300 calories per day. This will help to keep your active little toddler going and enjoying the day! So when snack time or mealtime rolls around, you want to look for nutrient-dense foods that your child will enjoy. This can include yogurt, cheese, peanut butter, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, eggs, and avocados.
2. Be creative when you are getting your toddler to try different foods. You can start off with finger foods. This can make mealtime fun for your toddler. You can also make the food you are offering look appealing to a toddler. You can serve your little one food that he or she can dunk in dip! This can include fruit preserves, cream cheese, and guacamole. You can also look for food that can be spread on bread or crackers. Look for healthy food that can be sprinkled onto a main course that your child enjoys!
3. If your child is not getting enough nutrients from food, make up for it with drinks! There are a few nutritious drinks designed just for children. You can offer your little one a nutritious drink such as smoothies made from milk, fruit, and yogurt. Another would be PediaSure, which will help to give your child a balanced nutrition. If you are worried about spills, then you can serve the drinks in a spill-proof cup. Your little one may enjoy the drink if it is served fresh and cold. This will help to make up for the nutrients they are lacking from eating. Use this as an addition, but not as a substitute. Your toddler should still eat as healthy as possible.
4. If you want your toddler to eat right, then make sure you lead by example. When you eat right, it will show your little one how important it is for them to eat right as well. Put a limit on your intake of un-healthy food and drinks (including alcohol, if you drink it). Eliminate any and all smoking from your household (from you and anyone else). There are many toddlers who want to do everything their parents do, and seeing you eat right and even exercise will encourage them to do the same.
There you go, four top toddler-feeding essentials to keep in mind when you try to get your little one to eat right. Your toddler’s picky eating habits may become frustrating and even a little overwhelming from time to time. But with patience, imagination, and keeping the feed essentials and tips in mind, you can have your little one eating healthy before you know it!