Toddlers are unpredictable. They like some foods one day may be totally different in the next day. There are some essential points that you may have about your toddler’s nutrition. Babies of these ages can grasp and release foods with their fingers and be able to chew more foods.
They have definite likes and dislikes. If you want to make mealtimes to be enjoyable, you should be patient and understanding when your child makes a mess that they are learning to feed themselves. You can serve healthy foods for meals and snacks at scheduled times, but allow for flexibility, and please do not force your child to eat too much.
Your child may refuse food in attempt to make their own decisions and become independent. Keep in mind that you are responsible for what, when, and where your child eats, let your child decide what to eat and how much. You can continue to serve a new food even if your child has rejected it, it may take several times before your child accepts the food.
At mealtimes, you can offer small portions of what the rest of your family is eating (such as: bread, pasta or rice; fruits and vegetables; cheese or yogurt; and cooked lean meat, poultry, fish, or eggs). Offer your child food every 2 to 3 hours for a meal or snack. If your child should drink about 2 cups (nearly 480mls) of whole milk per day. If your child drinks more than this it can reduce your child’s appetite. A child under age 2 should not be given low-fat or fat-free milk, they need the extra fat in whole milk for growth and development, You can offer 100% fruit juice in small amounts, about 4 to 6 ounces per day, Serve juice in a cup, not a bottle. Juice served in a bottle can cover your child’s teeth with sugar for long periods of time and contribute to tooth decay.
Your child may not tell you when they are thirsty, make sure they drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially between meals and snacks. Meal times will be messy as your toddler tries to develop their new skill at using a spoon and drinking from a cup.
By age one to three, there’ll be less to clear up as he/she manages a cup well and uses a spoon, fork and possibly even a knife.
As children grow up, parents should encourage them to become more independent. Expect some behaviour – defiance and disobedience, or refusing to comply with your requests, are normal parts of your toddler’s growth into an individual.
Follow your toddler’s lead – if they want to cling to you, let them; if they want to do things in their own way, go along with it as far as is reasonable.
Use distraction – you may find it impossible to get your toddler to follow orders without getting upset, so use diversion tactics, or allow them to make choices and offer them some control and choice.
Avoid orders and ultimatums – lead and teach rather than getting into power struggles. Mostly your toddler will just do the opposite of what you want. they may run off when you try to dress him/her, for example, or tip out toys you want packed away – they just can’t help themselves.
They may also seem to resent almost any form of control by you. They want to get dressed by themselves and feed themselves – the contrary behavior that results from this is quite normal, even if you find it irritating.
Once your child learns to walk, you’ll find it’s sometimes hard work to keep up with their as they moves with more and more confidence, and then begins to climb stairs – first by crawling, and later by holding a grown-up hand, and then finally up and down by his/herself, perhaps holding on to the wall or handrail, around the age of two.
By about this age, they’ll also be able to kick and throw a ball and by three or four they’ll gain the balance to ride a tricycle and run with confidence.
These are also the years in which speech develops. You’ll find your toddler uses six to 20 words by around 18 months, and over the next six months or so, they’ll put two words together to make simple sentences like “baby go” and “me drink”.
From two to three years of age your child’s curiosity will show in lots of questions, and you’ll be able to enjoy real conversations as they begins to talk in longer sentences, and sing rhymes.
It was once considered important to wait until age 1 – 3 before introducing your baby highly allergenic foods such as eggs, fish, and peanuts. While experts now believe that postponing these foods doesn’t prevent food allergies, many pediatricians still recommend delaying or waiting to introduce them – especially for children with eczema or with a family history of allergies. However it’s your choose to introduce new foods, discuss your decision with your child’s doctor first.