Feeding your toddler
A balanced diet will give your toddler a variety of vitamins and nutrients essential for their busy day!
Sometimes getting them to eat more than their 2 or 3 favourite foods can be tough as most toddlers go through a fussy stage but don’t worry, it won’t last forever. Just remember to offer a variety of healthy foods everyday and don’t be too concerned if they don’t eat from every food group.
Encourage toddler eating habits
Each day offer your toddler three main meals and two small snacks such as fruit, yoghurt or vegetable sticks like carrot and celery. Remember that toddlers will eat small portions and will eat often. Their stomachs are only about the size of their fists.
Try to keep meals at regular times. Feeding him before a nap might mean he'll be too tired to eat. And if your toddler is too tried at dinner time, try giving him most of his dinner at afternoon tea and then a light snack for dinner.
Make mealtime about family
Try to eat with your toddler as often as possible. Children learn to like new flavours by tasting and will be encouraged to try new things when others are also eating them. With fussy toddlers remember to respect their likes/ dislikes but don't cook a completely separate meal. Rejecting a new food is perfectly normal. It can take up to eight tries before a child will eat a new food. Offer the same foods that everyone is eating and include at least one thing he likes.
What foods should I give my toddler?
Offer your toddler two to four serves of vegetables, one to two pieces of fruit, three serves of dairy, one to two small serves of lean red meat, eggs or fish, three to five serves of breads, cereals, rice or pasta. Make either lunch or dinner the main meal of the day. If you serve chicken or meat, fish, egg or pasta for lunch, then serve a light salad or sandwich for dinner.
Everyone loves dessert! For toddlers, desserts are a nice treat after a main meal – custards, rice pudding, stewed fruit, yoghurt and pancakes are perfect. It will also increase the variety of food your child is eating. Using the dessert as a reward for eating the meal rarely works and can lead to resistance over mealtime.
Iron deficiency is common in toddlers. A lack of iron shows up as poor concentration, exhaustion, recurring sickness, pale skin on the undersides of the eyes and fingernail beds. Iron rich-foods include: lean red meat, leafy green vegetables, baked beans and dried fruit.
What should my toddler drink?
Offer six to eight small drinks each day. Milk, water or a 50/50 water and fresh fruit juice mix are the best drinks for toddlers. Water is best the drink for satisfying thirst, it’s good to always have a drink of water available to him throughout the day.
For messy mealtimes, Silly Billyz offers a range of bibs to make it easier for Mum and Dad! The Messy Eater Bib is perfect for self-feeders and it’s long and wide enough to cover your child to the knees while they are seated to eat.