Whats the number one thing parents should remember about toddlers and eating?

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Whats the number one thing parents should remember about toddlers and eating?

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Megan Smock

When dealing with toddlers at mealtime, getting them to eat healthy and hearty can be a challenge.  I think the number one thing any parent should remember with their toddler at mealtime is PATIENCE.  Even if you begin offering a vast array of healthy foods from the time they begin eating solids that does not gaurantee that your child will love everything you place on the plate in front of him/her come age 2-3.  Remember that no matter how little your child eats at a certain mealtime, they are never going to starve themselves.  If they are hungry enough, they will eat.  Just try to continue to offer a variety of healthy foods in creative ways and eventually you will stumble upon one or several that can be a pleaser at mealtime. 

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The most important thing for parents to remember when dealing with toddlers and their eating habits – is that eventually, everything will be ok again. Toddlers use food preferences and aversions, and behaviours related to food and eating as a way to learn about themselves, to test their boundaries, and to understand their environment. For example, toddlers are often very fussy about what they are willing to eat, and sometimes very particular about everything and anything food related. Your toddler might decide that a once favourite food is now one that they would never eat again, or your toddler might decide that none of the foods on his or her plate can ever be yellow, or green. Whatever changes in meal times or snack habits your toddler has developed, always remember to be patient, but firm, and trust that one day, your little one will be happy and calm about food again.

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The number one thing to remember about toddlers and eating is SAFETY. Toddlers do not have the inbuilt ability to cope with steaming hot food; while an adult might be able to cool food down in the mouth, and quickly follow it up with a glass of cold water, a toddler will simply scream, and dribble the food out, burning not only the tongue, gums and cheeks, but also the lips and chin as the food exits the mouth.

Similarly, cold foods should be given in moderation. All children love ice-cream and ice-lollies, but these should be given as treats, and not in place of meals. Like hot foods, an ice-lolly can actually burn lips if kept in contact with the mouth for too long. Supervise your child when ices are handed out.

Take note of food ingredients; if your child displays potential allergies to certain foods, a visit to a medical doctor should be a priority. Also be aware of common additions such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), colorings, and so on. Fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, and carbohydrates, when properly prepared, are often best for a growing toddler.

If you don’t know about the food pyramid and the essential ‘Go, Grow, Glow’ types of foods, it is time to educate yourself. Be safe for your child’s sake!

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Felica Legg

The most important thing to remember with toddlers and food, is knowing that they aren’t going to eat everything you put in front of them. They will go through phases where they don’t want to eat hardly anything. The best way to combat this is to keep offering new foods, they will eventually try them. Toddlers are learning more about taste ,texture, and preferences. 

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Robin: I have a few tips parents should remember: While feeding your kids a balanced diet is important, not EVERY meal can be a perfectly balanced one—that’s just life! Cut yourself some slack and aim to give them meals filled with protein, whole grains and fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Also, show your kids that mealtime is fun and let them play with their favorite finger foods like veggies and dip. Finally, don’t make mealtime unnecessarily stressful by forcing your kids to eat foods they’re simply not in the mood for. If you don’t push the issue too hard, there is a good chance they’ll be game for a bite the next time that food hits their plate. Examiner: Tell me a bit about what you call “A Peaceful Plate.” Robin: A peaceful plate – pairing the right balance of protein, fruits and vegetables kids will adore. Imagine your child’s dinner plate has a peace sign drawn on it. Fill the larger areas with whole grains and fresh vegetables and fruits and the smaller area with kid-