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Home > Health Library > Your Toddler: Nutritious Meals for Picky Eaters
Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. They may only eat a few foods, then abruptly refuse them. Toddlers also have rapidly changing appetites. Although toddlers grow steadily throughout their second year, their growth rates are less dramatic than during the first year, which often is reflected in how much they eat. Children this age may eat robustly one day and very little the next, but they usually eat the right amount to meet their caloric needs.
Toddlers are just beginning to understand that they can make their own decisions. Their need for independence and control often interferes with mealtime and eating.
There are two basic "rules" for feeding your child:
Try these steps to help make sure your child's nutrition needs are met.
Make sure it is readily available most of the time. Children tend to accept new foods gradually, and you may have to introduce a food many times before your child actually tries it.
Do not regularly keep less nutritious foods (for example, those that have large amounts of fats or sugar) in the house. If you eat these foods but try to withhold them from your toddler, the child will learn that these foods are highly desirable. The child may sneak these foods, beg for them, or simply view them as wonderful.
Do not give your child more than 4 oz. of fruit juice per day. Juice does not have the valuable fiber that whole fruit has.
A little planning and awareness can help you prevent mealtime battles.
Current as of:
September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineRhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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