getting your toddler to eat
These simple tips can help
When it comes to getting
toddlers to eat, some days can be a
complete loss. Kimberlee Brooks, an
Alberta Health Services dietitian in
Medicine Hat, offers the following
advice for helping toddlers try and
accept the food you offer.
When introducing a new food, offer
it in small amounts at the start of the
meal. It sometimes takes 10 to 15 tries
before a toddler accepts new food.
Try new shapes and textures.
For example, rotini is easier for
toddlers to pick up than spaghetti.
Preparing the same food in different
ways—raw, steamed or mashed—
Make food interesting
Let your toddler participate in food
preparation, even if that means
pretending to cook food in a toy pot.
Creating entertaining names for
foods together might make it more
likely for him to try them. Encourage
your toddler to touch his food with
his fingers and take a bite.
Focus on healthy foods with natural
sweetness, such as fruit. Whole fruit
cut into small pieces or blended into
a smoothie are healthier options than
juice. If you offer juice, limit to 1/2
cup (125 ml) a day.
Fill up on food
Toddlers often fill up on liquids
such as milk or juice before meals,
which can prevent them from eating.
Between meals and snacks, offer your
toddler only water to hydrate him.
Make food the focus of mealtime
Turn off your smartphone, TV, stereo
or radio. Remove toys and sit down
together. Brooks says this helps your
toddler learn when it’s time to eat
and feel safe about eating.
— Jeanie Vanderwell
For more information, see How Toddlers
Eat at healthyparentshealthychildren.ca.