Little Spoons, Little Mouths_ A Quick Guide To Feeding Toddlers
The journey to being a parent and raising a family is filled with challenges and more wholesome moments. One factor that can be a struggle for parents is transitioning your toddler from a milk diet to soft foods. It’s vital you build a happy and healthy relationship between your toddler and food, so you can ensure they’re receiving the proper nutrients.
Read on to learn what you can do to make this transition as smooth as possible, and entice your little one to eat.
A Comfortable Environment Makes A Baby Hungry
Toddlers can be picky eaters, and their mood can change quickly when it comes to food and whether they want to eat or not. You may want to start getting your toddler to understand it’s feeding time by setting up child dining furniture and dining ware.
Create memorable meals with toddler dining chairs and dining ware. Make sure they’re seated comfortably and adjust the height of the chair as needed. Setting up an environment where the purpose is to eat trains them to follow routines. Plus, having proper furniture and dining ware can help you teach your child dinner table etiquette.
Nutrients, Nutrients, Nutrients
After setting up a proper feeding environment for your little ones, the next thing you should consider is your toddlers’ nutritional requirements. Remember that in their early phases of life, they experience rapid growth. The need for a balanced meal plan is crucial to their physical and mental development.
There are a couple of essential elements that make up a nutritious meal. Here are some ideas of what you can add to your toddler’s meal plan;
- Protein. For muscle and tissue growth, tiny bits of egg, meat, and fish are essential for your child’s growing body.
- Healthy Fats. These fats further help the development of the brain. Avocados and certain nuts help promote better brain function.
- Vitamins and Minerals. Found in most colorful fruits and vegetables, these are important as building blocks in organ development and help promote proper function and propagation of healthy cells.
- Dairy. Calcium is vital for bone growth and resistance. Offer fresh milk as a drink or add it directly to your child’s bowl to build up their bones.
- Hydration. Water keeps the kidneys clean and organs running; ensure your child gets ample water from their cups, and limit sugar-based drinks or natural juices when hydrating.
- Carbohydrates. These are your child’s energy source to keep things running and developing. A mix of fruits, grains, and mashed potatoes is a good way to introduce carbs into a toddler’s diet
The Magic of Making Food
As we all know, toddlers are picky eaters – parents often take a lot of extra steps to encourage them to try new foods. If you’re struggling to get your toddler to try new things, here are a few ways to entice their appetite: starting with being creative.
Finger Foods. Toddlers like to be independent at small things and want to learn as much as possible on their own. By cutting fruits or meat in bite-sized portions, your child can simply pick them up with their hands and munch on them without much fuss. Addmore variety with a mix of protein and vegetables for a beautiful feeding experience.
Baby Portions. Toddlers like to eat with their family or someone familiar and tend to copy a lot from us, especially during dinner time. Instead of spoon-feeding them, try to encourage independence by providing smaller portions of food with child-sized utensils. This encourages toddlers to eat with you and teaches them to use utensils.
Smooth and Savvy. Smoothies and Ice pops are an excellent treat for teething toddlers and many babies. Additionally, it is a great way to mix up some fruits and other nutrients as a disguise for a delicious treat.
Dips Galore. Toddlers love foods that they can do more than just eat away. Use healthy, delicious dips or sauces to elevate the food’s taste and encourage your toddler to try it.
Lead By Example, Consistently
Another way to really help your toddler eat what’s on the table is to be a role model. Toddlers always see their parents and copy their actions as part of their understanding of the world. Seeing their parents eating healthy foods without being picky is also a great way to convince your toddlers to eat.
Feeding toddlers requires patience, understanding, creativity and fun. While feeding is never without challenges and tribulations, the experience of feeding your child is a treasured memory all parents have the privilege to experience.
While the tips above are good starting points to encourage your child to feed, remember that every toddler is different, and understanding them leads to a fruitful feeding experience. Get started today and use new tactics to encourage your toddler to experience new flavors, one feeding session at a time.