This post was sponsored by Nabisco as part of an Integrated Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Toddlers are notorious for being picky eaters. You won’t find a parent that hasn’t worried about their toddlers eating habits at one point. Some worry their toddlers are eating like crazy, others that they aren’t eating enough or a wide enough variety of foods. Luckily, if you start off on the right foot, you can reset your toddler on the road to eating well.
First, you need to remember toddlers are just learning about their environment and that includes food. Be patient with them. Forcing your toddler to eat is going to set a bad tone for mealtime. They will begin to negatively associate food with a struggle and become increasingly reluctant to try new foods in the future.
A better alternative is to have a variety of healthy foods available to allow them to make a choice. Typically, as long as they eat one to two items from each food group within 2 to 3 days, they are doing okay.
These are a few other things you can do to promote healthy eating habits:
Spend time eating as a family. We all have busy schedules, but try to eat together a few days a week. Include an assortment of foods that are nutritious and healthy. Toddlers learn by example, allow them to see family members enjoying healthy food in a encouraging environment that invites them to take part in the meal.
Never require your toddler to clean his plate. Kids are in tune with their needs and forcing them to finish the whole meal that they can’t or won’t eat will only cause more power struggles and can create issues with food later in life.
Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy snacks. One of my son’s favorite snacks is TEDDY SOFT BAKED Filled Snacks that we purchased at Walmart in the Cookie/Cracker aisle. He loves them because they are shaped like Teddy Bears and I do because they don’t contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or colors. Just good quality ingredients like milk, eggs, and chocolate.
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As your toddler gets older and develops, they will establish more routine eating habits. Until that time, simply offer them healthy alternatives and different choices in their diet so no matter what they choose, it will be good for them.