Some days I’m at a
complete loss to get my
toddler to eat anything.
How can I get her to eat
Kimberlee Brooks, an Alberta
Health Services dietitian in
Medicine Hat, offers parents this advice:
“You are responsible for what your
child is offered to eat and when and
where it will be served. Your toddler
is responsible for eating the food, or
Brooks also offers these guidelines.
When introducing a new food, offer
it in small amounts at the start of the
meal. Encourage your toddler to touch
his food with his fingers and take a bite.
Try preparing new foods in different
ways: raw, steamed or mashed. It
Getting your toddler to eat
For more tips on toddlers and eating,
visit the dietitians of Canada website:
a toddler accepts a new food. Have
Try foods in different shapes. For
example, rotini is easier for toddlers to
manage than spaghetti.
Limit sweets. Instead, focus on
healthy foods with a naturally sweet
taste, such as fruit. Whole fruit cut
in small pieces or in a smoothie is
preferable to juice. If you offer juice,
limit it to ½ cup (125 ml) a day.
Make food fun and interesting.
Giving foods an entertaining name
may make it more likely for your
toddler to try them. Let your toddler
participate in food preparation, even
if he pretends to cook his food in a toy
Offer foods regularly. For toddlers
this can mean three meals and two or
three snacks a day, with two to three
hours between eating. Between meals
Ask an expert
and snacks, offer only water. If your
toddler won’t eat her supper and then
wants food an hour later, let her know
she has to wait until snack time.
Avoid serving milk or juice before
meals and snacks. Often toddlers fill
up on liquids and have no room for
nutrient-dense, solid foods.
Make food the focus of mealtime.
Turn off the TV, stereo or radio. Remove
toys and sit down together. Brooks says
that this will help your toddler learn
when it’s time to eat and to feel safe
— Jeanie Vanderwell