If you eat fruit and vegetables then there is a greater chance of your toddler eating fruit and vegetables. If you or your partner screws up their face when they see broccoli then your little one will probably follow suit. Children need encouragement and guidance to eat well so it is important that you lead by example.
Here Are Some Helpful Tips For Growing A Healthy Toddler:
1. Serve 3 meals and 2 snacks
Children’s tummies are around the size of their fist so they need to eat small meals and snacks regularly (every 2 ½ – 3 hours) to ensure they are provided with all the key nutrients for growth and development.
2. Milk and water are the only necessary liquids
Children of all ages need to hydrate on water and milk is a good source of protein and contains the essential mineral calcium for growing healthy bones and teeth. Juices, cordial, soft drink and caffeine drinks have no valuable place in a toddler’s diet. Reduced fat milk and dairy products are recommended for children over the age of 2 years.
3. Treats and dessert should not be offered daily
With childhood obesity on the rise, foods with little nutritional value should not be offered on a regular basis. Set aside a day such as ‘Treat Tuesday’ or ‘Ice- cream Sunday’. If your child is looking for something sweet after dinner offer reduced fat yoghurt and fresh fruit.
4. Don’t bribe with food
Whether you want them to sit still at the hairdressers or finish their dinner you should not bribe with food especially with ‘treat foods’. It makes these foods seem more appealing and teaches children to only do what they are asked when they are rewarded.
Be kind, firm, consistent and say ‘no’ when they try and push the boundaries.
Having a tantrum because they will only eat plain pasta needs to be addressed the same way as you would if they were asking to ‘stay up all night’.