Eat together as a family and make snack and mealtimes relaxed, happy occasions.
- You decide which nutritious foods to offer but let your toddler decide how much to eat — they don’t always have to eat everything on their plates!!
- Use the toddler Food Pyramid as a guide for healthy eating. Offer foods from the four main shelves every day so your toddler will get the right mix of nutrients needed for growth and good health. Remember toddlers are not mini adults so there is a special food pyramid tailored specially for your toddler too.
- Develop a routine so your toddler knows when to expect foods (even at this young age, we can pick up habits and develop a routine). Offer your toddler 3 meals and 2-3 healthy snacks each day.
- Offer up to six drinks a day. Milk and water are the best drinks. 300ml of milk is the recommended amount for toddlers. If you wish to offer juices, make sure they are unsweetened fruit juices and dilute then down with water.
- Iron is vital in a toddler’s diet. It is important for healthy brain growth and toddlers need 8mg of iron every day Iron rich foods include red meat, poultry, oily fish and dark green leafy veg.
- Respect your toddler’s tastes and preferences — don’t force feed.
- Reward your toddler with your attention — never give food or drink as a reward, treat or for comfort.
- Remember toddlers learn a lot from imitation and at this age see and hear more than you would think so set the good example and hopefully they will follow suit.