It is a known fact that a toddler has a tiny stomach. Toddlers eat small amounts due to this reason and also due to the fact that they don’t have the patience to finish an entire meal. As parents, it becomes our responsibility to make sure that they get the right nutrition.
Finding the right foods: If your child will not eat more than one food at a time, find items that will double up to give them different nutrients – for example, cheese will give them calcium and protein, peanut butter gives them fiber and protein.
Types of drinks: Instead of juices, give them milk – it fills them up while giving them the right nutrients. For the rest of the day, plain water is just fine. One can add some juice to add some flavor.
Snacks: Snacks are necessary as young children need a steady supply of energy. Give them healthy alternatives like muffins, fruits or carrots, whole grain cereals or crackers, apple sauce, peanut butter and fruit etc.
Quality over Quantity: Make sure that they are getting their calories from foods that are full of nutrients like avocados, eggs, peanut butter and cheese. Of course pasta and rice are okay in small quantities. Avoid giving them things like fries, sodas and candy – foods with very few good calories.
Changing the menu: Make sure to feed your toddler foods which have different textures, colors, smells and even tastes so as to develop their palates and also keep it from becoming monotonous. If they are stuck on particular foods like macaroni and cheese, add some broccoli or chicken to make it a better meal.
Cut out distractions: Make sure that the child is not distracted by having toys at the dinner table or watching TV. Keep noise to a minimum to ensure that they eat their food before getting up from the table.
Overall Picture: As a parent, it is your goal to make sure that they get all the right nutrients in – protein, vitamins, calcium, a variety of fruits and vegetables and whole grains in the form of pasta and cereal.
Fats: Fats are an important part of their diet because it fuels the body. Good fats like olive oil and butter are good; skip the trans- and hydrogenated fats.