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Toddler Healthy Foods

How can I make Meals and Foods Toddler-Friendly?
(July 14, 2010)

Toddlers are at a stage where they like to gain independence and do more and more things by themselves. This is a good time to introduce self-feeding as it is fun for them as well as a way to make mealtimes easier. Offering your toddler simple and healthy finger foods will enable them to learn to eat on their own, while also providing the necessary nutrition.

Vegetables and fruits are a great snack for toddlers. It is important to introduce variety in the fruits and vegetables you offer your child. This will allow them to develop a taste for different types of foods as well prevent boredom and fussiness from setting in. You can slice soft pears, strawberries, and bananas into small pieces, while smaller fruits such as raspberries or blueberries may be offered whole or halved.

Peeled cucumber may be sliced into convenient pieces and served to toddlers for a tasty snack. You can also serve cooked corn, peas, and green beans. This will also help them to practice and refine their motor movements. Certain vegetables are hard when raw and these can be lightly steamed, cooled, and served. These include potatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Toddlers will have a great time eating these foods with their fingers. Another good idea for a snack is unsweetened cereal. Ensure that the cereal consists of whole grains and that it does not contain any preservatives and added ingredients. You can also serve wheat bread, pita bread, or whole grain crackers. For variation, you can also serve them along with a hummus or peanut butter. Dipping is fun for toddlers and is also an excellent way to provide nutrition.

You can also serve cooked meats cut into little cubes as this would be easier for a toddler to chew and swallow. Cooked soft beef or chicken may be sliced up and offered to the toddler. A fun way to introduce meats to your child is to cut lunch meat with cookie cutters to make a variety of shapes. Toddlers usually enjoy meat by itself, but you can add flavor to the meal by adding a serving of gravy or dressing. Toddlers also love cheese sticks. These are also healthy since they supply protein and calcium. It is necessary to ensure that the child does not put too many of these in his mouth at once. Many family foods can also be altered slightly and offered to the toddler. Start a practice of introducing a variety of healthy foods everyday as this will help your toddler develop a lifelong habit of healthy eating.
Submitted by E L on July 14, 2010 at 11:55


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