Getting babies and toddlers to eat well can be a challenge, but it’s important to set them up for healthy eating habits early on. Here are some tips:
- Start early. As soon as your baby is ready to start solids, introduce a variety of healthy foods. This will help them develop a taste for a wide range of flavors and textures.
- Make mealtimes fun. Babies and toddlers are more likely to eat if they enjoy mealtime. Try serving food in fun shapes, using colorful plates and utensils, and letting them help feed themselves.
- Offer small portions. Babies and toddlers have small stomachs, so it’s best to offer them small portions that they can easily finish. You can always offer more if they’re still hungry.
- Don’t force it. If your baby or toddler doesn’t want to eat something, don’t force them. Just try again later. It may take several exposures to a new food before they accept it.
- Be a good role model. Children learn by watching the adults in their lives. Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet and setting a good example for your child.
Here are some additional tips for getting toddlers to eat well:
- Offer choices. Toddlers like to feel like they have control, so offer them choices at mealtime. For example, you could let them choose between two different fruits or vegetables, or two different types of soups.
- Get them involved. Let your toddler help you prepare meals and snacks. This will make them more likely to be interested in eating what they’ve helped to create.
- Make it fun. Cut food into fun shapes, use cookie cutters, or serve food on colorful plates. You can also make mealtime more fun by singing songs, playing games, or telling stories.
- Be patient. It may take some time for your toddler to develop healthy eating habits. Don’t get discouraged if they don’t always eat everything on their plate. Just keep offering them healthy foods and be a good role model.
If you’re concerned about your baby or toddler’s eating habits, talk to your pediatrician. They can offer additional tips and guidance.