10 Top Tips To Get Your Toddler To Eat Healthily

Eat meals with your toddler where possible. Children learn from watching adults. If your toddler is always eating alone, she will get bored quickly, lose interest in her food and ask to get down from the table before she has eaten enough. If you can eat at least one meal a day together, she will develop a positive association with mealtimes, be less prone to attention seeking behaviour, more likely to try new foods if you are eating them at the same time.

Most toddlers have one meal a day where they eat really well. Capitalize on this by offering the most nutritious foods at the mealtime your toddler will be the most receptive.

Avoid filling your toddler up with high calorie snacks. The calorie requirement for a 2-year-old is 1000 to 1400 calories per 24 hours. 1 or 2 processed snacks a day filled with empty calories could mean she simply is not going to have an appetite for fruit or vegetables. Mid-morning snacks need to be small but nutritious.

Share healthy snacks with your toddler to encourage healthy eating. Slice an apple thinly, add a few raisins. Sit together and share. It’s not just about the food, the positive interaction with an adult at snack time will encourage healthy food habits.

Offer milk as drink first thing in the morning, with breakfast and at teatime. Keep your toddler hydrated during the rest of the day with water. Children who drink and fill up on milk throughout the day will not have an appetite at mealtimes.

Let your toddler play with her food. Children who have not been allowed to touch their food through the weaning stage, to get messy or have been wiped clean excessively during mealtimes can be prone to food phobia. Make one meal a day full of finger foods with healthy home-made dips, encouraging your toddler to be hands on and get a little messy.

Some young children are sensitive to new foods and reluctant to try them. Try introducing a couple of new healthy foods at a time. Show the new food to your toddler before you cook it, tell her what it is called and why its good to eat. Ask her to hold and smell the new food before and after it’s cooked. If she does not feel under pressure, she may be more interested in trying something new.

Bring something healthy for your child to eat after nursery. She will be grateful and happy to tuck into a helping of crudités or grapes after a busy day.

Keep your fruit bowl full. If there are healthy delicious foods within view and available day to day your toddler will become accustomed to eating them at snack time.

Do not make food an issue. Sit with your child while she is eating but try not to constantly cajole her. You will find she is more inclined to eat what you have prepared if you just chat about your day or make conversation about things she can relate to.