Categorized | Food, Toddler Healthy Diet

Parents Guide to A Flexible Toddler Diet

Dieting is hard especially for children. With your toddler’s unpredictable mind and taste buds, it can be overwhelming to train him how to eat healthy. But, once you know how to mix fun to his toddler diet, you can be sure your toddler will enjoy scooping up his food – even those green leafy vegetables.

Start The Day Right

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Most often, a toddler who skips or eats little during breakfast tend to be edgy, ill-tempered and worse, obese. Make it a habit to start your toddler’s day with good breakfast. Cut pictures of healthy breakfast foods (cereal, pancake, yogurt, sandwich, etc.) and paste them on papers. Each night, let your toddler go through his “healthy-yummy menu” and have him decide. The fact that you let him choose his meals will make him look forward to eating breakfast and in no time, he will be cleaning his plate without noticing the carrots you added to his sandwich.

Know When to Strike and When to Give In

After breakfast, determine when your little one is most hungry and set meal times just before his stomach begins to rumble. By doing so, you can prevent his mood swings from spoiling his appetite. During times wherein your toddler just cannot seem to finish his meals, just give him a few portions of his food and let him finish the rest once he feels hungry again. The trick here is to never force your toddler. Once he knows he can voice out his concerns and you listen to him, the more open he is to sticking to his healthy diet.

Offer Variety

Toddlers always love to have plenty of options. You can still keep feeding your little one yummy meals sans processed foods. The secret to making your toddler eat with gusto is to provide colorful, bite-sized and well-proportioned foods. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your toddler’s mini meals. Chicken pita is a delicious mini meal. Just add 2 tablespoon of hummus to soft whole-wheat pitas, add a few slices of grilled chicken strips, baked sweet potatoes, corn tortillas and his favorite dressing. For dessert, slice few pieces of strawberries and mix it into plain yogurt. Or, cut his favorite fruits into cubes. Place all of them in a bowl and serve it with whipped cream.

Never Miss Meals

While it is challenging to let your toddler eat what you want him to, skipping meals do not also make sense. This will only throw off his energy, disrupt his eating schedule and will give your toddler the idea that it is perfectly okay to miss out meals. What you can do is to give him something to eat, a few bites of crackers, oatmeal or fish is better than nothing.

Assess His Schedule

Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner will keep your toddler energized for the whole day. If your toddler does not finish his food during lunch, maybe his morning snack is too heavy or it is too close to lunch time. Know your toddler’s appetite and moods so you can effectively adjust his schedule.

Give Your Toddler A Break

But only do it once in a while. Sticking to a toddler diet may make your toddler apprehensive. Give in to his whims. The objective is to make your toddler eat well. So once a week, have a day where the both of you can indulge in sweets, ice cream, chips and sodas. This will serve as his reward. Do not worry, this will not disrupt his eating routine. It will just make him feel great and more motivated to stick to his diet plan.

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