Feeding Your Toddler

It’s been a few months of stay-at-home and work-from-home for Daddy dear! The tot has grown a little more. The little baby can walk and run nearly as fast as Usain Bolt! Feeding, bathing, and napping are all roughly under control. New foods, colours, and textures are now in. So what’s next?

Time changes things and now is the time to change a few things! Since mommy has gone back to work. This means DAD is in charge of nutrition! So here are some things to keep in mind for your toddler when it comes to food and feeding time.

Food, Feeding, and Nutrition

Your child should be eating at least three healthy meals a day, plus one or two snacks. Allow the child to be able to eat from the family pot. Meaning he or she should be able to eat the same food as the rest of the family.

DO NOT GET STUCK WITH

Fixating on amounts being eaten. 
Many parents fixate on the amount a child has to eat to be healthy. Now in one way it is true. A child must eat well but do not need to be stuffed till they get sick. 
Making mealtimes wartime. 
Trying to stuff food down your kid's throat or making this a battle of wits can have its repercussions. This must be a time for the little one to have fun. Explore colours, textures, and tastes and even try eating on his or her own!
Getting used to a device during feeding time. 
This one is hard but doable. Kids these days learn faster and better than we did. At least that's what I have observed. Reducing device time while around junior, especially at meal times is a big challenge. Once done it helps everyone detox from tech and connect as a family.

RATHER

Pay attention to helping your tot adapt to healthy eating habits. 
Including eating on time and with family at one table at mealtime. Ensure all sit together for at least one meal a day. It helps reinforce family bonding. And gives junior a sense of belonging. 
Eat healthy even as a family. 
Cut out as much junk and fried food as possible. More steamed, boiled, blanched, and fresh-made food helps. 

SAFETY

By now your child should be able to use a spoon to some extent, drink from a cup or sipper and feed him or herself a wide variety of finger foods. However, they are still learning to chew and swallow properly. Some food might just go in a gulp. This can cause the risk of choking to be high. So stick to soft easy-to-bite and chew food. At each stage wean them off. Help them understand what they are eating and how to break it down by chewing. 

DO NOT PANIC, if your child is a picky eater.

Ensure they are eating from each of the basic food groups every day:
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs
Milk, cheese, and other dairy products
Fruits and vegetables
Cereals and pulses, potatoes, rice, flour products

Do not be alarmed if your child doesn’t always meet this ideal. Many toddlers resist eating certain foods—or insist on eating only one or two favorite foods. The more you struggle with your child over their eating preferences, the more determined they will be to resist you. This can make feeding time very strenuous.

Instead, allow the baby to choose as you learn their likes and dislikes. Then match that by pairing food as needed. Offering a variety of foods and leaving the choices up to your child will eventually allow them to eat a balanced diet on their own. Toddlers also like to feed themselves, so whenever possible, offer your child finger foods instead of cooked ones that require a fork or spoon to eat.

A few tricks to get the little one interested in food time also takes on a positive note if there is tons of encouragement for your little one. Giving them support and loving words. High fives and attaboy’s or attagirl’s, go a long way. Getting a good high chair, specific bowl, or plate with cutlery set for your tot helps. You can choose fun vibrant colours for this cutlery and crockery. Maybe themed ones you know with a favourite cartoon character or superhero. Maybe a favourite colour palate. Get creative and make it fun. Your child will have a ball eating, bonding, and growing up.

Follow Ignatius Deepak Stanley

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