5 Toddler Feeding Issues Solved
Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. If you're concerned that your toddler isn't eating a balanced diet, here's some advice from the experts!
My toddler drinks milk all day long.
“Toddlers only need 18 to 24 ounces of milk at most,” says Ann Meyers, a clinical nutritionist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. If you’re concerned that your toddler isn’t getting enough milk, push yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products to make up for the calcium.
My toddler won't eat vegetables.
If your toddler refuses to eat veggies, fruits can be a good substitute. The key is to offer one or the other at every meal. For example, if your toddler wouldn’t eat peas at lunch, then offer cantaloupe at dinner. The fruit can balance your child’s diet, even if he won’t eat anything green.
My toddler won't eat!
“Never try to force feed kids,” says Dr. Charles Shubin, director of pediatrics for Mercy Medical Center Family Care. “They’re in a control battle.”
Instead, offer a variety of healthy choices at every meal. This will result in a balanced diet, regardless of what your child eats at each sitting.
My toddler won't eat red meat.
Toddlers tend to avoid red meat because they have trouble chewing it up. Softer meats are good alternatives, such as fish and hamburger. “Never serve anything larger than a dime,” Meyers says. Be sure to cut your toddler’s food into small, manageable pieces.
My toddler prefers junk food.
If your toddler is a junk food junkie, take a look at your own eating habits. “Kids model their parents,” Dr. Shubin says. “If you eat junk, that’s what they’ll want.” Strengthen your healthy eating habits and keep plenty of fresh fruit, cheese, and wholesome food in the house.
Toddlerhood is a fun stage in life, so don’t spend too much time wrapped up in nutrition concerns. Do your part by offering healthy foods to your child and modeling proper eating habits. And trust that over time, even the pickiest of eaters will get a balanced diet.
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