Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002162/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tips for Feeding Toddlers
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Hillan, Jennifer
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2001
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Publication date: June 2001."
General Note: "FCS8685-Eng"
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00002162:00001

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1. This publication is FCS8685-Eng, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date: June 2001. Reviewed by Linda B. Bobroff, PhD, RD, LD/N, associate professor, and Glenda L. Warren, MS, RD, CFCS, associate professor, University of Florida. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences / University of Florida / Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean 2. Jennifer Hillan, MSH, RD, LD/N, coordinator, Educational/Training Programs, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. FCS8685-Eng Tips for Feeding Toddlers 1 Jennifer Hillan 2 Feeding your toddler may seem like an overwhelming task at times. Here are some tips to make mealtime a more pleasant time. Feeding Responsibilities The most important thing to remember is that parents are responsible for deciding what foods are offered and children are responsible for deciding whether to eat and how much to eat. As a parent, you are responsible for: T offering nutritious foods suitable for your childs age T setting regular meal and snack times T serving foods that look appealing Your child is responsible for deciding if shell eat and choosing how much to eat from the foods you offer. If she decides not to eat a meal, thats OK. Toddler Tips Make mealtime conversations pleasant and turn off the TV so everyone can focus on eating. Set a good exampleyour child will follow your lead. Your child is more likely to eat her carrots if you do too! Toddlers need consistency. Plan meals and snacks for the same time each day. Food should not be used as a reward or punishment. Be active with your child to promote the importance of physical activity. After your childs second birthday, gradually change from whole milk to 2%, then 1% or fat-free milk. Everyone in the family over age two can benefit from lower-fat dairy products.


Limit juices to about 6 ounces per day. They often fill up toddlers, leaving them too full to eat other foods. Instead, offer water or dilute juice with an equal amount of water. Never serve juice in a bottle! Avoid food fights! Dont bribe, threaten, or force your toddler to eat. Promote good health habits! Teach your child to wash his hands before eating and brush his teeth after eating. The easiest time to wean your child off the bottle is at about 12 months. As she learns to drink from a cup, start serving all her drinks that way. The night bottle may be the last she gives up! What Foods Should I Offer My Toddler? L Toddlers need a variety of foods from all five food groups to get the nutrients they need to grow. Provide food from 3-5 food groups at each meal. Let your child choose from those foods. L Provide 2-3 cups of milk or yogurt every day because toddlers need calcium for growing bones and teeth. Other good calcium sources are cheese, fortified soymilk, calcium-set tofu, and leafy greens (except spinach). L Offer sweets only in moderation. They have calories that will fill up your child, but they dont have the nutrients he needs to grow. How Much Should My Child Eat? After the rapid growth of your childs first year, your toddler is now growing more slowly. That means he needs less food. And did you know that your childs stomach is only about the size of his fist? L Offer small portions (about 1 tablespoon of food for each year of age) and let him ask for more if he wants it. L Your childs appetite can vary from meal to meal and day to day. Thats OK! As long as he is growing well, hes probably getting all the nutrients he needs. L As a parent of a toddler, you know he has a mind of his own! If he refuses to eat a meal, say thats OK, just sit and keep me company.


Tips for Feeding Toddlers June 2001 Banana Smoothie Blend frozen, peeled, and sliced banana with cup milk or frozen yogurt. Flavor with tsp vanilla. Optional: add 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter. Homemade Popsicles Pour fruit or vegetable juice in small paper cups or an ice cube tray. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Insert popsicle sticks when juice is partially frozen. My Child Only Eats One Food! Food jags are common and usually only last a short time. Continue to offer a variety of healthy foods at each meal, but dont force your child to eat them. Creative Ways to Offer Your Toddler Fruits and Vegetables Cut into fun shapes. Dip into yogurt, guacamole, cottage cheese, applesauce, or bean dip. Spread with cream cheese or a thin layer of peanut butter. Top with melted cheese or tomato sauce. Sprinkle with cocoa powder or herbs and spices like cinnamon. Shred or mash and add to muffin, bread, and pancake mixes. Blend into shakes and smoothies. Smart Snacking Toddlers need snacks in addition to main meals. Offer snacks midway between meals. Pair food from at least two food groups, such as: L Graham crackers and milk L Hard-cooked egg wedges and fruit juice L Apple wedges, cheese slices, and water L Mini vegetable pizza and orange juice L Tortilla with bean dip and milk L Yogurt topped with dry cereal My Child Wont Eat New Foods! L Involve your child in shopping and preparing food. She will be more likely to eat food she picked out or helped prepare. L Make foods appealing. L Offer new food at the beginning of the meal. L Encourage your child to try new foods, but dont force her. It often takes many exposures to a new food before she will eat it. L Dont reward your child for eating a new food. She will be less likely to eat it the next time you serve it! Choking Hazards Toddlers are at higher risk for choking than older children. Always have your child sit down to eat, and stay with her until she is finished. Below are some choking hazards to avoid. Hot dogs and carrots cut in rounds (Instead, slice cooked carrots and hot dogs the long way.) Whole grapes (Instead, cut into 4 pieces.) Chunks of meat (Instead, cut into small, bite size pieces.) Nuts and seeds Raw carrots and celery Hard or round candy Peanut butter on spoon (Instead, spread thinly on bread or crackers.) Raisins, popcorn, and marshmallows