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Getting Toddlers to Eat Healthy
By Mila Sidman Alice Seba
It may seem a daunting task but getting your toddler to eat healthy isnâ€™t actually the difficult task it seems. In fact, the toddler years is the perfect age to instil good eating habits in your toddler. As kids get older and they have outside influences such as school, going to friendâ€™s houses and the every popular media aimed at kids it gets much more difficult to get your kids to eat healthy.
So thatâ€™s the great news, now how do you get your toddler to eat healthy, nutritious foods?
Observe his Eating Habits â€“ Is your toddler a grazer who eats tiny amounts through the day but wonâ€™t sit down to a large meal? There isnâ€™t necessarily anything wrong with this and many toddlers adapt this style of eating. However, if you feel itâ€™s best for your toddler to eat three set meals then start by setting three daily snack times and three meal times. If you donâ€™t mind your child grazing through the day provide him with small amounts of nutritious snacks at every â€œgrazing mealâ€.
And you donâ€™t have to go for pre-packaged expensive and often unhealthy snacks. Try cut toast sticks with a little butter, bread sticks, crackers, pita triangles, tortilla wrap cut into triangles or small pieces. Serve with little pieces of cheese, ham, tomatoes, carrot sticks, cucumber rounds, baby corn or any other healthy foods you may have on hand.
Donâ€™t forget the dip either, toddlers love to dip food and many will be happy to try a hummus dip or cream cheese or even a simple yogurt dip. The key is to use your imagination and introduce a few different foods at a time. After all, you donâ€™t want to overwhelm the little guyâ€¦ his taste palette is still developing.
Relax and Wait â€“ This tip may seem frustrating but the truth is your toddler will eat at some point. Many toddlers go through a stage where they eat very little on certain days and other days theyâ€™ll have a large amount of food. This is okay and perfectly acceptable as long as theyâ€™re getting a balanced nutrition over the spread of the week.
If youâ€™re unsure your toddler is getting all the vitamins he needs, talk to you pediatrician and he or she may suggest placing your toddler on a multivitamin during this period.
The one thing to keep in mind during this period of not eating is not to fall into the habit of giving your toddler the same foods. This will set you up for a life time of picky eating. Even if your toddler wonâ€™t eat something today keep introducing it, they may just eat it the next day.
Find healthy baby and toddler recipes, nutrition articles and advice on coping with picky toddlers at BabyandToddlerRecipes.com.
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