Make mealtime a happy time with these helpful recommendations.
Chances are your toddler has a mind of his own, which can make the baby feeding schedule a bit challenging at times. But you should know that the average 1-2 year old needs about 1000 calories per day, which can be reached in three small meals and two snacks.
Do's and Don'ts
Don't break out the best china.
Most toddlers prefer to feed themselves. Let him, as long as you have plenty of unbreakable plates, cups, spoons and forks available.
Do make sure his nutrients end up in his mouth.
Ask your doctor about toddler formulas, or vitamin supplements. Especially if a lot of his food ends up on the floor. It's one way to make sure your baby gets the complete toddler nutrition his diet may lack.
Do make a mealtime schedule.
Serve meals and snacks around the same time every day.
Do find calm before the meal.
A little pre-meal quiet may help him focus.
Do start small.
Give him less than you think he'll eat, and let him ask for more. Try one tablespoon for every year of his age.
Do offer old favorites.
Like cut-up soft veggies.
Don't push the yucky.
If he doesn't like something, don't push it. Try it again another day, in smaller portions, with foods he likes. Then try again. And again.
Don't try for the Clean Plate Club.
When he's full, he's full. Respect that.
Don't offer choking hazards.
Some common no-nos are whole baby carrots, raw celery, hot dogs, nuts, round hard candies, raw cherries with pits, or spoonfuls of peanut butter.