Archive | Toddler Feeding

Gag Reflex In Toddlers

Gag reflex is an automatic reaction of the body that helps prevent choking. Children have a gag reflex when the back of the tongue is touched to prevent toddlers from consuming something that could cause them harm. As you introduce solid foods to your toddler, you will have to be cautious about introducing combination baby foods containing meat and vegetable bits.

What Causes This Problem?

Toddlers might gag on something they should not have in their mouths (e.g. toy parts, sequins, buttons, etc.). They might also choke if they eat too fast, have too much food in their mouths or if they do not like the taste or texture of the food they are eating (lumpy foods such as hot dogs, gummy candies, caramel, meat, nuts, popcorn, fruits with seeds and cheese).

Toddlers with chewing and swallowing problems or those who have delays in their motor skills can also experience gagging.

How You Can Help

Help Your Toddler Relax

Encourage your little one to relax during meals. Do not let him play, run around, walk or jump while he is still chewing his food. Do not try to feed him more than he is inclined to. Talk to your toddler about a fun encounter, how his day went, what he did and so on. Play soothing music. Eat beside your toddler. A calm and comfortable eating environment will help your toddler eat slowly.

Add Texture To Your Toddler’s Food

As much as possible, avoid buying store-bought food. Prepare his food yourself so you can control the texture of the food. You can do this by adding graham crackers or wheat germ into your toddler’s smooth food. This will make the food less smooth, but there will be no surprise chunks. Start off slowly, and as your toddler gets used to the new texture, you can add more. This will help your toddler get slowly accustomed to the feeling of texture in his mouth and throat.

Encourage Self-feeding

If your toddler is capable, allow him to feed himself. Children with sensitive gags often do better if they eat on their own. Just teach your toddler to pick up one piece of food at a time and to carefully chew and swallow before placing another piece of food into his mouth.

Play Games That Decrease Oral Sensitivities

If your toddler has no physical problems with the mouth or throat yet constantly gags, there are things you can do to help him adjust. Play face-touching games using a Koosh ball, stuffed toy or warm washcloth. Have him bite on chew toys (teething toys with bumps and different textures). Let him touch your face and guide his hands to the different parts of his body as well. This way, you introduce your toddler to endure facials sensations and make a positive association.

Seek Medical Help

Getting a medical evaluation can resolve this problem. Your toddler’s doctor can check for any physical problems (e.g. esophagus is too narrow or does not function efficiently). If there is a physical problem, the pediatrician can refer you to a feeding specialist who will come up with an individualized program to help reduce your toddler’s gag reflex or your child may need to take medications and undergo therapies.

Gagging is only temporary. It will take time, but with patience and ingenuity, you can help your toddler learn to tolerate textured foods more easily.

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Tips For Buying Your Toddler’s Feeding Supplies

Now that your little one has grown older, he will need feeding supplies that will teach your toddler how to feed himself. Below are some feeding products your toddler should have.

High Chair

Beyond utensils, you will need a seat so your little can join in the family meals, you can eat your own meal and feed him at the same time and make cleaning up easier. It may be very tempting to feed your toddler on your lap, but having a seat where you can strap him in, walk away to get more food is just more practical. You do not need to buy a fancy high chair, just look for one with waist and crotch safety straps and a wide base to prevent tipping.

Small Spoon and Fork

Your toddler will need his own spoon and fork especially at this time when he wants to act like mommy and daddy and be a big boy. You can either go for a rubber tipped or plastic spoon and fork (although the latter is easier on his tender gums). Whatever you choose, make sure that they are PVC-free, temperature-safe and with soft handles designed for little hands to promote self-feeding skills.

Plastic Bowl

Your toddler will want a plastic bowl he can call his own. Buy a plastic bowl that is BPA-free, PVC-free and phthalate-free in a bright color that is microwave-safe so you can reheat food easily and with a suction cup that attaches the bowl to the high chair tray to prevent the bowl from sliding off.

Sippy Cups

By now, your toddler is ready to try drinking from a cup. Prevent fluids from oozing out of his mouth by giving him a spill-proof sippy cup. A sippy cup has a valve that controls the flow of fluids. Look for one that is BPA-free and phthalate-free, with a silicone spout for easy transition from baby bottle to sippy cup and easy to grip handles.


Bibs come in the cutest colors and designs. Though there is nothing wrong with fashionable bibs, it is better to choose simple bibs that are easy to put on and off and easy to clean. Save the stylish bibs until your toddler has mastered self-feeding. Go for bibs that are big, washable, stain-resistant, with a pocket in the front (for catching drips) and Velcro fastening.

Placemat and Splat Mat

Buy placemats to put on your toddler’s high chair so you can simply wipe them and clean the high chair after every meal. A splat mat is a piece of plastic covering you put under the high chair to protect the floor from spills. Splat mats are available in different patterns and sizes. If you are on a budget, a beach towel, vinyl runner or an old tablecloth works just fine.

Food Warmer

A food warmer is a handy electric gadget with a thermostatic control that warms food quickly without burning them. It is also very portable so you can take it with you when you travel.

Food Mill and Processor

A hand-turned mill allows you to make food for your toddler by simply removing the metal turning mechanism, putting a bit of food into the grinder, replacing the device and turning it. Just a few turns and the food is crushed into tiny pieces, perfect for your toddler’s tiny mouth. A food processor is a more convenient device for making toddler food. It does not require liquid to move the particles around its blade. So just one touch of a button, your toddler’s food is ready.

Having these feeding supplies at hand helps your toddler master his self-feeding skill - a very important skill he should learn at an early age.

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Popular Party Foods For Kids

Children love parties. The games, prizes and balloons excite them. Of course, party foods keep them going as well. To make sure toddlers enjoy eating their food, try these classic party foods for kids. These will make their tummies happy and will keep that big grin plastered on their faces for hours.


Pasta is one all-time favorite of kids and even adults. Spaghetti is one great party food that you can do really cheaply. Regular spaghetti will do, but if you want to put an exciting twist to this meal, opt for pastas that come in fun shapes like penne or bunny and alphabet shapes.

Kid Pleasing Spaghetti

You will need:

  • 8 ounces spaghetti (cooked and drained)
  • 2 ½ cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tbsp. Flour


  • In medium heat, cook beef and onion in a pan. Drain. Add spaghetti sauce. Boil for 10 minutes and mix the pasta. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a pot. Mix salt and flour. Add milk and let it simmer.
  • Stir in Parmesan and cheddar cheese. Mix until it melts.
  • Place spaghetti in a baking dish. Top with spaghetti mixture and cheese. Bake under 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.


Toddlers go crazy over pizzas. To make it more fun, why not let each child build their own mini pizzas.

You will need:

  • English muffins
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • Sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Few slices of mushroom, bell pepper and onion


  • Pre-cook spaghetti sauce, sausage, pepperoni, bell pepper, mushroom and onion.
  • Let toddlers lather spaghetti sauce onto the English muffins. Have them pick out the toppings they want. After which, sprinkle Parmesan cheese.
  • Use toaster ovens instead of a kitchen oven to cook the mini pizzas. Heat the pizzas for 10 minutes under 300 degrees Fahrenheit.


Since it is a party and children prefer different types of sandwiches, it is best to make simple sandwiches they can eat like a regular meal. Use cookie cutters to cut loaf breads into shapes. Burger buns are also perfect. Add some oven baked potato chips or fries and a few slices of carrots, lettuce and peas to complete the meal.

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

You will need:

  • 1 ½ cup leftover spaghetti sauce with meat
  • 1 green bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 4 burger buns (halved)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Dried basil leaves


  • Heat spaghetti sauce, mustard, ketchup, green bell pepper and basil leaves into a saucepan under medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes and bring to a boil.
  • Ladle mixture onto the buns. Serve hot.

Kids Trail Mix

Finger foods are another favorite of toddlers. Make it a healthy food by adding fruits and nuts. Just put it in a large Ziploc bag and shake to mix. Pour them in a cheery looking bowl and serve.

You will need:

  • 4 cups whole-wheat cereal
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried fruit bits (cherries, cranberries, blueberries)
  • ½ cup assorted nuts (peanut, walnut, almond or cashew nuts)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will need:

  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 16 tbsp. Butter (softened)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)


  • Mix baking soda, flour and salt together in a bowl. Combine eggs, butter, vanilla, sugar and cocoa in a separate bowl.
  • Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until combined. Add chocolate chips and mix.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place palm-sized dough into greased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.

Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae

Children love ice cream, so you will thrill them all when you announce they get to decorate their own ice cream sundae. Give each child an ice cream cone or a glass and let them pick out everything they want.

You will need:

  • 3 gallons ice cream (in Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavors)
  • 1 cup assorted fresh fruits (chopped)
  • 1 cup colored and chocolate sprinkles
  • Hershey’s chocolate or strawberry cream
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate chips

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Making Homemade Food For Toddlers

If your child belongs to the group of picky eaters, feeding him can be truly stressful. To make sure your toddler gets the right nutrition he needs, why not prepare homemade meals for him instead? Creating your very own food concoction is pretty simple even if you are not an expert cook. By doing so, you ensure he gets a lot of nutritional benefits. Plus, it might even encourage him to eat more.

Food for toddlers consist of anything tiny, colorful, sweet and tasty. With a little creativity, you can actually incorporate all of these in every food you make. To make home cooking easier for you, here are some tips as well as popular meals to help you create foods your toddler will surely love.

Know His Favorite Food

Making homemade food for your toddler will be less confusing once you figure out his food preferences. The next time he eats, keep an eye out on which food he likes to gobble the most. In this way, you are able to maximize cooking his favored food. For example, if he likes chicken, you can make a chicken sandwich, grilled chicken lollipops, vegetable salad with chicken strips and so on.

Have Variety

Just because you know he likes chicken does not mean you only have to feed him meals with chicken. Even if he prefers it over other foods, you can still encourage him to try out different foods. How? Have variety. The more you introduce new foods, the better. But, just keep in mind to serve new foods in small proportions so as not to overwhelm him. Being consistent in letting him try out various food choices will train him to eat different food selections. From breakfast to dinner, always offer a wide variety of tastes. Remember to stick to colorful and tasty meals. Avoid giving him bland food.

Here is a good example of homemade meals your toddler might like:

For Breakfast

  • Whole Wheat Pancakes. Use wheat flour instead of ready to cook pancakes. Wheat flour is a natural ingredient that is rich in carbohydrates which is perfect for keeping your toddler active. To make it more interesting, why not add his favorite fruit into it. Just slice a mango, peach, blueberry or banana into tiny pieces and mix them together with the flour.
  • Fresh Salad. The secret to making your toddler eat his vegetables is to cut it into tiny portions wherein he can easily use his hands to grab them. Instead of the usual cereal, slice colorful veggies and fruits (e.g. tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, spinach, corn and some apples, lemon or orange) and mix all of them together in a bowl. Add a tasty salad dressing. The cheery color will appeal to him and intrigue him to try out the salad.

For Lunch

  • Mac and Cheese. Create your very own macaroni and cheese by adding pumpkin to the ingredients. One of the most nutritional foods, pumpkins are good sources of vitamins and minerals, potassium, carotene and vitamins C and E. It has a sweet taste and its color is beautifully concealed with the cheese sauce.

For Snacks

  • Cheese, Crackers or Oven Baked Potatoes. Dairy products are good for strengthening his bones. Steer clear of chips and ice cream during snack time. Instead, go for cheese and crackers. You can slice them up into tiny servings or add his favorite filling to the crackers for a yummier taste. Oven baked potatoes are healthier than French fries as well.

For Dinner

  • Chicken or Fish Sticks. If your toddler will not touch his food because he dislikes using utensils, opt for finger foods like fish or chicken sticks. Slice them into thin strips or stick a popsicle stick into the chicken or fish. He will truly enjoy these tiny treats.
  • Vegetable Soups. Soups are a toddler’s best friend. Most likely, your little one is willing to try out different types of soup. Each week, serve him a different soup. Mushroom, corn and broccoli soup are the most popular. Just add small strips of chicken or meat into the soup so your toddler will not find it too plain and boring.

Stay Away From Grainy Foods

When making homemade food for your child, minimize grains. Grains are too solid for his tiny stomach and this may cause indigestion. Plus, they have high sugar content that can also be found in sweets and sodas making it a useless and unhealthy homemade food.

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Toddler Finger Food Ideas Your Child Will Love

Toddlers always like keeping their hands busy. Whether at play or at rest, they just love tinkering with things. If you are having a hard time letting your toddler eat healthy, why not make him finger food meals? Take advantage of his hands. Once he sees he can easily pick up his food from his plate sans fussy utensils, he will be more than willing to gobble up and clean his plate.

Most often, your toddler is too consumed with his activities or he just simply do not have the dexterity to eat. Toddler finger food is an excellent way to provide your little one with nutritious food selections without slowing him down. Here are some ideas of the best toddler finger foods he will surely love.

Cheese and Crackers

Something sweet, something crunchy – these two factors entice a toddler to eat his food. Finger foods like cheese and crackers are simple to eat yet are very healthy for his body. Grate cheese or slice it into strips. Cheese contain milk that gives off calcium that helps strengthen teeth and bones. Crackers are carbohydrate and fiber rich foods. They are natural, contains no food additives and are great energy boosters. Spread a little peanut butter or his favorite jam to the crackers to make biscuits tastier.


Whole-grain cereals contain lots of vitamins and minerals that fortify a weak immune system. Colorful cereals are also very pleasing to your toddler’s eyes and he can simply grab a spoonful of it. Just see to it you stick to dried cereals like oatmeal or cornflakes since some cereals contain preservatives and are made from artificial food products. Best cereals for your tiny one include – Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Life, and Kix.


Another finger food favorite of toddlers, sandwiches are fun and easy to eat. You can add easy spreadable fillings like plain cheese or peanut butter and jelly. Another great idea is to fill breads and buns with ham and cheese or chicken with mayonnaise and a few slices of lettuce, and tomatoes. Just be sure to cut the crusts off and slice it into tiny pieces. To make it more exciting, use cookie cutters with different designs. He will truly have the best time eating his sandwich in a circular, rectangular, Christmas tree shape and so on.

Fruits and Vegetables

Banish your fruit and veggie battles by cutting vegetables and fruits into small pieces. Carrots, beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, peas, apple and orange are popular finger foods. Add a little salt to make the vegetables appetizing and cream to make fruits sweeter. Or, you can put all of them in a bowl and make a salad. The vibrant color will attract your toddler’s eyes. Plus, he gets to intake the right amount of protein, vitamin B, iron and potassium without him knowing it.

Grilled Chicken Lollipops

If your toddler likes to eat fried chicken, grilled chicken lollipops are a better alternative. Grilled chicken are tastier and healthier. Make it into grilled chicken balls or lollipops so he can easily grab them and eat them with delight. You can also add your very own organic homemade sauce or ketchup for his dip.


Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acid which is imperative to your toddler’s heart. Always include fish in his diet. Prepare crispy fish shaped into balls or into triangles. You can choose to oven-bake or grill it. Serve it with his favorite dip and fruit juice to complete his meal.

Finger foods are easy, appetizing bites. Plus, toddler finger foods are an effective solution to ensure your toddler gets all the nourishment he needs for his developing body.

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Nourish Your Child With Toddler Drinks

While healthy foods keep toddlers in tiptop condition, healthy drinks are also very essential. Combining the two makes a toddler fit, helping him optimize his growth. But, not all drinks are nutritious to toddlers. Some of them lack what a toddler’s body requires for proper development. Thus, the need to be choosy when selecting the right drinks is imperative.

How can you tell which toddler drinks give ample vitamins and nutrients to your little one’s developing body? Evaluating nutrition labels might help but it can confuse you. Having a handy drink reference is more practical. Here is a guide to help you select which drinks are healthy and unhealthy for your child.

Healthy Toddler Drinks

Beverages Your Toddler Must Always Take


Water is the most basic and the best beverage for your toddler. It plays a very important role – to make each of his body part function well. With all the physical activities your little one does on a day to day basis, drinking at least 10 to 20 glasses of water will keep him hydrated. Also, water makes his muscles work efficiently and lubricates his joints. Since it is an all-natural drink, it has no additives and contains fluoride which keeps cavities away.

If your toddler finds water too dull and bland, try serving a cold glass of water filled with ice cubes. You can also add a couple slices of lemon or any citrusy fruits to make water taste yummier. Or, you can get him a cup with a design of his favorite cartoon character. The vibrant color of the cup will make him interested to try out what is inside it.


Your toddler also needs a healthy dose of calcium, and milk is the number one toddler drink to give this nutrient. Milk has vitamin D which strongly builds teeth and bones. In addition, this toddler drink has age-appropriate vitamins and minerals that can completely nourish his overall development.

However, too much intake of milk can also cause side effects. For your little one, two to three daily servings of this dairy product is recommended. Anything more than that can slow down his appetite.

100% Real Fruit Juice

Contrary to popular belief that juice can make toddlers overweight, real fruit juices are actually a very good source of vitamin C which is essential in replenishing your child’s energy. Just make sure these juices are not made from artificial flavorings. Orange, apple, grapes, strawberry and mango fruit juices are good sources of vitamin B6, iron, magnesium and potassium, which helps strengthen his immune system. Let him drink his favorite fruit juice in a small cup at least once a day.

Beverages Your Toddler Must Take In Moderation


Sodas contain a small serving of caffeine and refined sugar. While these beverages can cause tooth decay or increase your toddler’s sugar level, drinking sodas with restraint can be beneficial in boosting your toddler’s energy level especially when dehydrated. Since sweet drinks cannot be completely avoided, only let your toddler drink sodas if there is a special occasion, as his small treat for eating healthy for a whole week or during the family’s weekly DVD marathon.

Fruit Shakes

A friendlier alternative to sodas, fruit shakes are a much better beverage for satisfying your toddler’s sweet tooth. While it does contain milk and a small amount of sugar, the fruits used are all-natural which can supply nutrients to his body. Combine two kinds of fruit together, say a banana-mango or strawberry-apple fruit shake for a healthier drink.

Anything taken in moderation is safe. Let your toddler drink different kinds of child-friendly beverages to ensure he gets all the proper supplement he needs for his development.

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Foods That Complete Toddler Nutrition Requirements

The toddler years are an essential time in your tot’s development. This phase is where all the growing and nurturing happens to mold your toddler into becoming a bright, happy and healthy child. At this stage, your toddler is still willing to explore new foods making it an excellent opportunity to establish healthy eating habits. The earlier you instil correct food choices, the earlier you can educate and guard your toddler from ailments and diseases.

The key to meeting all the toddler nutrition requirements of your child is to strike a balance between what is good for his body and what is good for his taste buds and lifestyle. Because your toddler’s stomach is still very small, forcing him to eat everything at once will not work. Feeding him small servings of food throughout the day will assure you that he gets all the necessary vitamins and minerals he needs.

Toddler Foods That Complete Nutrition Requirements

The following is a list of food and its benefits that meet your tot’s nutritional requirements. Take note that the foods mentioned must be served in small proportions to fit your toddler’s stomach to ensure proper digestion.


Different kinds of milk are essential to complete your toddler’s nutritional needs. Initially, breast milk is the best source of nutrients for your tot’s body. As your toddler grows, switch to formula milk and cow’s milk. This provides your toddler’s body with sufficient calcium that is essential for building up strong bones and teeth. Milk betters your toddler’s absorption and metabolism promoting overall strength.


Fruits act like desserts. Because of its vibrancy and its crunchiness, it appeals to almost every toddler. Incorporating different kinds of fruits to your toddler’s everyday diet gives him adequate Vitamin C and folic acid. Vitamin C and folic acid are very important to boost your child’s energy and stamina especially during this time wherein playing is his number one activity. Fruits also supply your tot’s body with iron that helps improve his oxygen circulation. It has antibodies that avert damage to developing DNA. These healthy substances meet every nutritional requirement of the body eliminating the risk of cancer and heart disease in the future.


Every green leafy vegetable taken in meets all the required nutrients of your little tot’s body. Vegetables play a very important role in meeting his nutritional requirements because of its rich immune boosting components. Veggies like spinach, lettuce and cabbage are rich in iron that help formulate healthier red blood cells. Eggplant and tomatoes are very rich in nutrients while beans and broccoli provide magnesium that is ideal for bone development and proper muscle function. Also, vegetables contain dietary fibers that promote intestinal health eliminating constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel movements.

Bread, Rice and Carbo Rich Foods

Carbohydrate rich foods such as wheat, bread, rice, oatmeal, potato and pasta supplies sufficient Vitamin B that nourishes his body. Adequate intake of these foods makes your toddler active, enthusiastic and full of vigor. Foods rich in carbohydrates also eliminate the risk of child obesity and evens out blood sugar level.

Dairy Products

Foods such as egg, butter, cheese and milk are excellent dairy products that can nourish your toddler by giving out combination of nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus that are important for bone health securing your toddler to a healthy childhood and adulthood.


A very vital food for a toddler’s body, lack of meat makes your child grow up smaller, less strong and less smart. Since it is a great source for providing his body with proper minerals and nutrients; arithmetic, mental and problem solving performances also improve. Vitamin B12 is generated allowing his brain to function normally and improve proper blood circulation as well as deliver fatty acids that supplies the body with fuel.

Good nutrition is the foundation of lifelong health. Foods taken in moderation secure your tot to a complete development allowing him to live life to the fullest sans sickness.

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Breastfeeding – Why It Is An Essential Part of A Toddler’s Food Pyramid

Nutrition is vital for toddlers. When nourished well, proper toddler development is achieved. Almost everyone agrees that in order to get the best nutrition, breast milk must be taken by toddlers. Breastfeeding is the safest and most effective way to nurture your tot especially when he is a picky eater. Generally, this results to proper overall growth. Also, it serves as an effective shield eliminating allergies, diseases and sickness.

A mother’s milk contains vitamins and minerals that are not found in ordinary food. Since a toddler is too young to consume foods rich in nutrition, breastfeeding covers all bases of the toddler food pyramid. More so, it has been clinically proven that toddlers who were breast fed from infancy to ages one to three are more physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially fit.

In a toddler’s food pyramid, breastfeeding displays a lot of advantages. Here are some reasons as to why it is an essential part of a tot’s food pyramid:

Provides Complete Vitamins and Nutrients

A food pyramid is divided into different sections - proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Your toddler is too young to supply his delicate body with solid food. Thus, breastfeeding serves as an excellent alternative. It supplies just the right amount of nutrients for your child such as - protein is an essential balance in the food pyramid since this is the number one source of energy. Vitamin A serves as your toddler’s guard against infection. Vitamin B for building the muscles and strengthen the organs. While Vitamin D helps your tot grow in accordance with his age. It gives him calcium for the development of strong bones and teeth.

Strengthens Immune System

A toddler is not able to eat different foods in the food pyramid since this phase is very crucial. Picky eaters or loss of appetite is common hence the poor completion of the food pyramid. With breastfeeding, your toddler gets all the food he needs and is coupled with very rich nutrients that serves as antibodies for a stronger immune system making breast milk the number one food supplement to complete the food pyramid.

Balances Food Intake

Too much of something is bad. Admit it; your toddler does not want to eat all the food you offer him. He may prefer chips and sweets over vegetables. This is normal, but relying on these foods does not guarantee ample coverage of the food pyramid. With breastfeeding, every single nutrient needed by the body is given. So even though your child does not eat that much solid food, you are sure that he is completely nourished in every aspect of the food pyramid.

Improves Body Resistance From Sickness

During this time, your toddler can be too sensitive with the food he takes in. Allergies, infections and diseases can be found in foods like rice, dairy products or formula milk. Breastfeeding secures your tot against health conditions. It has an immunological system that safeguards the immune system minimizing serious risks like asthma, diabetes and respiratory viruses. Along with its antibodies, breastfeeding not only protects your toddler from illness but at the same time supplies him with all the nutrients needed for his age.

Breastfeeding is the primary source of a child’s nourishment. Even without solid food, breast milk covers every part of the food pyramid making it a highly recommended source of nutrition for toddlers.

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Answers to The Most Common Toddler Feeding Problems

Feeding your child is one of your most important tasks. As a parent, you need to give your tot all the proper nutrition he needs in order to ensure his overall development. But this task is very challenging especially if your tot is a picky eater. Toddlers have their own stand about everything and food is not an exception. Encouraging your toddler instead of exerting force is the answer to successfully resolve this urgent matter.

To help you out, here are some of the most basic toddler feeding problems parents deal with as well as the answers and techniques that can combat these troubles away.

Toddler Feeding Problems – Answered

Problem # 1: Your toddler prefers a particular set of food

Answer: Most often, toddlers get scared with the sight of unfamiliar food and it is the primary reason why your toddler ignores a particular food in his plate yet devours the remaining with ease. The best solution here is to present your meals in a nice manner. Color is what entices toddlers and making him see that on his plate encourages him to try out everything. Food presentation is important. For example, place vegetables in a bowl or plate that spells out his name. A smiley face made from carrot sticks will please him. Slicing up fruits and vegetables into fun shapes peaks your child’s interests.

If your toddler prefers to eat a sandwich, make him eat more by alternately filling it with grilled cheese, tuna, ham and egg or chicken instead of his favored burger patty.

Problem # 2: Your toddler does not finish every food in his plate

Answer: Have you tried asking yourself if the serving size is too big for a two year old kid? Most often, the reason why your toddler does not clear his plate is because of too much food. He cannot consume it all so switch to serving him small portions of everything. A small portion of rice, few slices of meat and beans coupled with a few slices of apple is sufficient enough to ensure he gets proper nutrition.

Problem # 3: When your toddler does not want to eat at all

Answer: If your toddler prefers to play with his food instead of chewing it, you need to step up your game. Remove him from his high chair and only put him back when he wants to eat. He will learn to eat the food on the table or otherwise wait for the next meal to satiate his hunger. This makes him realize that what he is doing will not be tolerated. Another tip is to let him help you in the kitchen. Once a week, have him pick out the family’s meal for dinner. Allow him to choose his reward (e.g. French fries, a cake) and compromise. As long as he eats his vegetables, then he can have that fries or a slice of his favorite chocolate cake afterwards.

Problem # 4: Your toddler is already two years old yet still wants to be baby fed

Answer: At some point, toddlers feel that eating is a tedious task. To help your toddler out, get him a plate, spoon, fork and cup in his favorite cartoon character or superhero. Finger foods are also a great solution to make him feed himself. Always take every meal together as a family. This will encourage him to imitate the people around him.

Problem # 5: He only eats sweets and junk food and drinks soda

Answer: The best way to minimize bad food intake is to discipline your toddler. Reward him with a single cookie or a piece of chocolate after he has finished a healthy meal. This way, he gets used to eating healthier foods and will likely not need the reward soon. Food alternatives within the same food group are also a great solution to slowly change your toddler’s food preference. For sweets, have him eat a peanut butter sandwich. For chips, give him finger foods like nuts or fruits sliced in fun shapes and dipped in cream. Concoct homemade fruit smoothies like strawberry, watermelon, mango and apple banana are great alternatives to sodas.

Proper nutrition is essential for a toddler’s complete development. Even if feeding your tot is a challenge, know that every issue can be addressed. Know your toddler’s wants and incorporate it with his balanced diet. Always look for alternatives. In this way, you are assured that your tot gets all the correct nourishment he needs.

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An Age By Age Toddler Feeding Guide

Toddlers are very picky eaters. You should call yourself lucky if your tot eats every food you serve him. But, if this is not the case, then prepare yourself for battle. Your toddler needs all the nutrients he can get from meals to ensure accurate toddler development. Correct nutrition is very important to make him physically and mentally fit. Meeting this is quite a challenge that is why you need a toddler feeding guide to help you out.

As your child grows, his food preferences also alter. His appetite to eat more junk food and sweets as opposed to munching on healthy vegetables is so strong it makes you feel helpless. You can lead your toddler to the table but you cannot make him eat. A toddler feeding guide that is appropriate for his age is your best armor.

Toddler Feeding Guide By Age

Having a feeding guide to assist you nurture your child’s general health is tricky. You have to have all the right ingredients fit together to make it appealing for your toddler. The key here is to use your tot’s age as basis and to allow your child’s appetite to direct you how much food is enough.

At Four to Six Months

  • During your little tot’s development as an early toddler, breastfeeding is still the number one source of food. A mother’s milk is the most nutritious food for any child especially during this phase and is highly recommended by pediatricians.
  • You can also slowly introduce your tot to semi-solid food. Rice mixed with baby’s milk or rice mixed with soup are your safest partners. Always remember that at this age, water consistency is very important.

At Seven to Nine Months

  • After your toddler gets used to eating semi-solid foods, you can now shift to feeding him soft purees of vegetables such as a carrot or a squash together with rice. You can also try getting him bottled baby foods in the grocery like Gerber. This allows your child to eat different healthy foods that provide ample nourishment for his body.
  • Once your toddler is on his eighth to ninth month, he can completely shift from semi-solid to solid foods. However, you still have to keep feeding him with soft and easy to chew foods for his delicate stomach. Start off by nourishing him with easy to digest foods such as baby oatmeal’s and green leafy vegetables.

At Ten to Eleven Months

  • By this time, your child starts to grow his teeth allowing him more variety. Your toddler can now start eating finger foods such as rice crispies, soft pieces of fruits (e.g. banana, mango or sliced watermelon).
  • Formula or breast milk is still advised till your tot reaches his eighteenth month.

At Twelve to Eighteen Months

  • The most exciting toddler feeding phase is when your toddler hits his first age. During this age, he can now eat biscuits, crackers, fish, soft meat and almost any food the family eats given that his food is chopped into tiny slices in order for him to properly chew his food.
  • Introducing him to new fruits aside from the soft ones makes him excited to try them out. Serve him fruits like an apple, papaya, apricot or peach. Steer clear of citrus fruits for the mean time since his stomach is still sensitive.
  • Start giving him protein rich foods like beans, cheese, eggs and nuts.

At Nineteen to Twenty Four Months

  • Shifting from formula to whole milk is recommended. Having him drink milk from a glass instead of a baby bottle helps him transition quickly.
  • Citrus fruits can be given at this age (e.g. orange, pineapple, melon, etc.).
  • Regularly feed him with grainy foods like rice, pastas, wheat bread and other carbohydrate rich food to restore his energy from all the daily activities he does.
  • Sweets like chocolate, cake and candies can be given as long as it is taken in small portions.

At Twenty Five to Thirty Six Months

  • Regular intake of beef, chicken and pork is necessary.
  • More heavy food must be taken to complete his overall growth.
  • Balanced diet for every meal. Breakfast – cereal with fruits and juice, Lunch and Dinner – pasta or rice with any meat coupled with two servings of vegetables and fruits

The key to successful toddler feeding is to feed your tot small servings of everything. In this way, he gets the proper and balanced nutrition he needs from different food groups.

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