Andrea McCoy, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at Temple University's School of Medicine, in Philadelphia said, “A lot of toddlers' food issues are actually just power struggles".
According to the experts, usually, toddlers are unpredictable with their food habits. Sometimes, feeding a toddler (1-to-3 years old) become a challenging task for parents because, the child's health and growth are important at the time of this stage. Remember, a toddler's appetite can vary every day, but a parent should be careful about the toddler’s growth and health.
The article is offering you complete eating guidelines on feeding issues, health and budget-friendly meal and snack ideas, safety suggestions, and many more.
You can offer the same food that you enjoy. Cook well and add different flavors to make the food more delicious.
You can categorize the foods into 4 groups such as Fruits and veggies, cereals, milk, and meat. Make a whole meal plan, including breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. Select foods and serve that your child prefers.
Water is the best drink for your child. Try to give water to your child in between meals and snacks. However, breast milk can be offered to a toddler, but a child who no longer breastfeeds can take pasteurized whole cow milk. Offer 2 cups of pasteurized whole cow milk every day. Add the milk to meals and snacks and feed your child. If your child doesn’t take cow milk, then talk to your doctor for advice. Try to avoid juice or sugary drink (sports drinks, fruit beverages, and fruit-flavored drinks).
|Ideal snacks for 1 to 3 years toddlers
|Ideal meals for 1 to 3 years toddlers
|Yogurt and fruit smoothie
|Triangle shaped sandwich with egg, chicken, tuna (soft cooked)
|Milk with whole grain cereal
|Scrambled egg or a small omelet with vegetables (soft cooked)
|Whole grain muffin with grated cheese
|Rice or pasta with chicken, vegetables (soft cooked)
|Banana bread with seed butter
|Yogurt with rice, cornbread, and chopped tomatoes
Some eating behaviors are very common among younger toddlers such as:
Your younger toddler can be a picky eater. Slower growth is also common in the second year. Food habits can be changed drastically, but that doesn’t mean your child is not well. Your toddler may not follow a regular eating pattern as well.
This time, a child tends to intake small and regular snacks because they provide enough energy for moving all the day. So, don’t force your child to finish all the food on the plate. Provide healthy snacks to maintain the nutrition level.
Refusing to eat food is quite common among toddlers. Don't feel disheartened, helpless or think the child doesn’t like the food. Offer the food on another day, your child may eat it.
When to seek expert help
Sometimes, parents think that their child is eating too small regularly. If you feel the changes are quite unusual, then you should talk to a professional for help. Seek an expert help if you notice:
Older toddlers are also unpredictable with their food habits. It’s quite common at the age of 2. Sometimes, your child loves a food one day but refuses to eat the same food in the next day. This kind of unpredictable food habit can make you frustrated. But, there is nothing to worry about. This is quite a common eating behavior of older toddlers.
Here are some common eating patterns among older toddlers such as:
Food refusal, love for snacks are quite common behaviors of toddlers. There is no reason to worry about the health of an older toddler unless he/she looks unwell or grows slower than usual.
Some healthy and nutritious snack ideas for older toddlers
Serving healthy foods for toddlers doesn’t mean that you need to buy the most expensive foods from supermarket only. There are a lot of nutritious yet cheap foods available that are equally delicious. With some planning, you’ll be able to plan budget-friendly, healthy meals for your toddlers. Below are some easy tips for your help:
|Rice, bread, pasta, potatoes and noodles
|Buy in bulk. Store bread in the freezer to keep it fresh.
|Milk and other dairy items
|Take advantage of the special offer and buy milk and other dairy product like cheese in bulk. Store them in the freezer to keep them fresh.
|Vegetables and fruits
|Always buy these seasonal fruits and vegetables. They are cheaper and taste good as well.
I hope, the information is helpful for parents who're currently dealing with mealtime dramas. If you’ve better ideas then share with us.
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