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The best foods and textures

The best foods and textures

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During this stage your child needs food from the same four basic food groups that you do, but in a somewhat different texture:

Meat, fish, beans, poultry and eggs

Dairy products

Fruits and vegetables

Cereal grains, potatoes, rice & breads  

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Children don’t learn to chew in a grinding motion until their fourth year, so make sure to provide his food in an easy-to-chew texture such as mashed or cut into small pieces. Also remember that your little one can still choke on foods that are big enough to block his airway. Always supervise your toddler when he’s eating, make sure he’s eating while sitting down and teach him not to talk when he has food in his mouth. Also avoid giving him the following foods that pose a choking hazard:

Nuts, popcorn, seeds

Whole grapes or cherry tomatoes (cut them into quarters)

Hard fruits and vegetables such as apples or raw carrots

Whole or large sections of hot dogs or meat sticks

Hard candies · Spoonfuls of peanut butter

Hunger and fullness cues

You’ll be less likely to under or overfeed your toddler if you understand his hunger and fullness cues.

You’ll know your Toddler is hungry when he:

uses words or sounds to indicate he wants certain foods

uses phrases such as “want that” or leads you to the refrigerator where he points to the food he wants

You’ll know your toddler is full when he:

shakes his head to say “no more” or “get down”

plays with his food instead of eating it

Changes in appetite

Your toddler’s growth slows down at this stage and his appetite may drop, too. Don’t worry if your toddler suddenly becomes picky about what he eats or even resists coming to the table. He doesn’t need as much food as he used to. Though your toddler may be eating what the rest of the family eats now, don’t expect him to eat as much as you do. Remember that his stomach still holds less, so he needs about 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. But don’t count on your child actually eating that way every day - toddlers are known for erratic and unpredictable eating habits. For example, your toddler may eat a huge breakfast, but little else the rest of the day. The amount of calories he needs to eat depends on his activity level, growth rate and metabolism.

The dinner table may become a battleground when you try to get him to eat a balanced diet. Don’t take it personally when he rejects the food you prepare for him and don’t allow him to fill up on empty calories if he does not eat. Remember that your child’s diet will balance out over several days, especially if you remember who’s in charge of what. Your job is to provide a variety of healthy foods for your toddler and his job is to decide what and how much he wants to eat.

Picky eating

If you feel your child is a picky eater, you are not alone. This is common among parents of toddlers. While there is no scientific definition for this, parents describe their toddlers as picky eaters when they refuse to try new foods, eat only a few foods or have strong preferences when it comes to both type of food and preparation. What should you do?

Be patient; occasional picky eating can be a normal part of development.

Provide a variety of food options - both new and familiar - and let your toddler choose

If your toddler refuses a particular food, never force him to eat it or finish it. Instead, move on to a different food and try that food again at a later time.

Keep offering foods again and again - it can take about 10 tries for your child to accept a new food.

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