Healthy Eating For Your Toddler
The day your child tries solid foods for the first time is exciting. This is just another milestone in them growing up and like any parent, you are all about documenting the excitement. Toddler years are the prime time in life where nutrition is most important. This is because these years are all about growth spurts and brain development. You want to make sure to give your toddler the best nutrition you possibly can. Here are some tips to get your toddler to eat healthy food.
#1. Start Early
You should start laying the groundwork for a transition into finger foods when your child is a baby. Introduce a variety of foods to them in infancy and start offering simple finger foods at about 6 months old that are age-appropriate and safe for them to eat. You should wait a couple of days between each new introduction of food.
#2. Transition to a Cup
The intake of milk for a child should decrease after their first birthday. This allows more room for solid foods. Toddlers tend to eat less when they are chugging a bottle at every meal. To take in a more reasonable 4 to 6 ounces of liquid at a time, transition your toddler from a bottle to a cup. This will help in reducing milk consumption.
#3. Cut Food into Bite-Sized
To reduce the risk of your child choking, cut their food and snacks down to bite-sized pieces. This is best to do until around the age of 4. Bite-sized does not mean chunks. Cutting food into strips is best when feeding your toddler. The windpipe of a child is around the same size as a pinky finger. Cut strips of food that are thinner than that to allow for easy pass through in the throat.
#4. Use Small Portions
You should not force your child to clean their plate when it is time to eat. Instead, use small portion sizes for them. Pediatricians tend to recommend one tablespoon per age. This is a good starting point. For example, good portion size for a toddler is 2 to 3 crackers, half a slice of bread, a few bites of chicken, and half of an egg.
#5. Keep Trying
It may feel difficult at times to transition babies from drinking liquids to eating healthy solid foods. The key is to keep trying and do not give up. It can be hard for a toddler to accept new foods or flavors. Sometimes it may even take more than 20 times of introducing the food before they grab onto it well. Make eating an interactive and fun experience for your toddler to cut down on the frustration of them yelling “no” to food.
Healthy eating is important for anyone at any age. You want to start getting your child into healthy eating habits as soon as they start eating solid foods. This will make it less difficult for them to choose healthy food in the future. By following these tips, you will make the process much easier for both you and your child.
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