Picky Eaters No More!
Just sharing some quick tips that I discussed during a recent picky eating class....
What is considered normal feeding behavior in toddlers?
Decreased appetite after 1st birthday
Picky about certain foods, turns head away, resists sitting at table
Appetite and food preferences vary from day to day
3 meals and 1-2 snacks per day
Young toddlers (under 2 years) may require 50% of calories from fat
Foods should be the primary source of nutrition
Water is the main source of hydration
Milk is a good source of calcium, but should not replace foods or water - limit to 16 oz (2 cups per day)
Juice is not a requirement and is mainly sugar - always dilute and limit to 4 oz per day (½ cup)
How can I teach my toddler to be a healthy eater?
Offer foods at regular times, but don’t force your child to eat
Limit between-meal snacks and drinks
Offer a variety of foods - different tastes, textures, colors
Make meal time routine - sit together without distractions
Allow your child to self feed
Ignore undesirable behavior → act casual and don’t react!
How can I introduce new foods to my toddler?
Don’t get discouraged and keep trying! → new foods may take 15-20 repeated exposures
Arrange food in fun and colorful shapes
Involve kids in meal planning and prep
“Food bridges” - introduce foods with similar taste, color, texture (i.e. if your child likes pumpkin pie, try mashed sweet potatoes, then mashed carrots)
Try offering a dip or sauce for vegetables: hummus, guacamole, ranch dressing
Try new foods with breakfast or lunch, when kids are more alert
DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY IN FEEDING
The parent is responsible for what, when, and where.
The child is responsible for how much and whether.
For more inspiration, follow @FeedingLittles and @kidfriendly.meals on Instagram!