Toddler Nutrition: Tips for Picky Eaters & Establishing Healthy Eating Habits | Babysteps

Feeding a toddler can be a daunting task. While some toddlers will eat almost anything set in front of them, others can be extremely picky. As parents, it is important to establish healthy eating habits for toddlers, while also encouraging them to try new foods and flavors. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for dealing with picky eaters and how to establish healthy eating habits for your toddler.

Be Patient and Consistent

When introducing new foods to your toddler, it is important to remember that they may not like it the first time. With repeated exposure to the same food, over time, they may learn to like it. It can take up to 10-15 tries before a child will accept a new food, so be patient and don’t give up too soon. Also, ensure that you are consistent with mealtimes and snack times and offer a variety of food groups.

Offer a Variety of Nutritious Foods

As a parent, it is essential to offer a variety of foods from each of the five food groups, including fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. If your toddler refuses or dislikes a particular type of food, don’t give up. Offer it again in a few days or in a different form. For instance, if your toddler dislikes sliced apples, try serving them in a baked form.

Involve Your Toddler in Meal Preparation

Kids often enjoy participating in meal preparation. Encourage your toddler to help with tasks such as washing fruits and vegetables, mixing ingredients, or setting the table. This can help your toddler to develop an interest in food and also teach basic skills.

Offer Healthy Snacks

Toddlers generally need two to three snacks per day, in addition to three main meals. It is essential to offer healthy snacks such as fruit, yogurt, cheese, or whole-grain crackers. Avoid sugary snacks or juices, which can cause tooth decay. Also, limit eating at least an hour before mealtimes, so that your toddler can be hungry enough to eat food during mealtimes.

Be a Good Role Model

Toddlers often learn by watching their parents. Be a good role model by eating nutritious foods and modeling healthy eating habits. Also, avoid pressuring or forcing your child to eat. Let them choose how much to eat and encourage healthy eating habits.

Feeding a toddler can be a challenging task, but with patience and perseverance, it is possible to establish healthy eating habits. Remember to offer a variety of nutritious foods, involve your toddler in meal preparation, offer healthy snacks, and be a good role model. Also, be patient and consistent with food choices, and don’t force your child to eat. With these tips, you can combat picky eating habits in your toddler and establish healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.

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