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Tips for Getting Your Toddler To Eat

  • Offer new foods at least twice a week, along with old favorites.
  • Don't coerce your child to eat, but make it clear that you expect him to taste new foods. Spitting it out is ok.
  • Offer desserts with nutritional value: pudding made with skim milk, fruit salad, a fruit and yogurt "sundae," whole-grain oatmeal cookies.
  • Serve small, toddler-sized portions.
  • Foods should be bite-size and easy to chew.
  • Toddlers like colorful foods.
  • Change the venue: serve lunch in the playhouse or have an afternoon tea party for snacks.
  • Toddlers enjoy playing with their food. It is a part of learning about it, so, within reason, allow this to happen.
  • Let them help in food preparation.
  • Grow a vegetable garden.
  • Make food attractive -- arrange it in the shape of an animal, a face, etc.
  • Offer limited choices. Ask "Do you want orange juice or apple juice?" instead of "What do you want to drink?"
  • Eat as a family as much as possible. Kids learn by imitating.
  • Help ensure that they come to the table hungry.
  • Don't use food to cure boredom or as a pacifier.

Healthy Snack Ideas for the Toddler on the Go

  • bananas
  • small boxes of favorite cereals
  • Fig Newtons
  • whole wheat, low-salt pretzels
  • homemade mini-muffins (Keep a supply in your freezer.)
  • peanut butter crackers (Make sandwiches out of whole grain crackers and natural peanut butter.)
  • mini-whole grain bagels
  • cheese cubes
  • rice cakes
  • small juice boxes
  • whole grain granola bars

    CHOKING HAZARDS: hard candy, chips, olives, popcorn, hot dogs, hard vegetable pieces, grapes, raisins, cherries and nuts.
    Potentially dangerous foods should be sliced small.