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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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July 2012
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