Toddlers have control over very few things in their lives. What they eat is one of them. It is the job of parents and caregivers to present a variety of healthy foods to the toddler. Doing so gives the toddler appropriate choices from which he may choose.
When considering a toddler’s diet, it’s essential to look at it over the course of a week to get an accurate picture of his dietary habits. Having an accurate picture can help you determine if the child’s nutritional needs are best being met on an ongoing basis.
Most toddlers will be picky eaters. Continuously presenting a variety of nutritious new foods alongside the toddler’s favorites is the best way to expand his palate. Toddlers may be slow to like new textures and tastes, so it’s important to keep reintroducing foods and encouraging the toddler to try them, without bribing or forcing.
Toddlers should have set mealtime and snack times each day. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, toddlers should also be served a nutritious morning and afternoon snack.
Avoid letting a toddler snack all day or carry around a cup of milk or juice. Doing so can fill them up and make them less likely to try and eat healthy foods offered at mealtime. If juice is offered, it should be 100% fruit juice and limited to 4 to 6 ounces per day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.