Feeding Your Toddler
Good nutrition is very important for growing babies and toddlers. Their little bodies need the right nutrients, in the right amounts, so that they can develop into healthy teens and adults. Feeding toddlers can prove to be quite challenging! Your toddler’s feeding skills are increasing and she’s growing more independent at the table. You may even start to notice that your toddler has food preferences and would like to control more of what she eats and when she wants to eat, or not. Don’t worry! Here are some tips to help you through this exciting period.
Control food intake
Offer your toddler about three small meals and 1 to 2 snacks each day. However, don’t be discouraged if she doesn’t follow this exact schedule. Instead, focus on helping your little one to develop a healthy relationship with food by offering healthy choices and letting her decide how much to eat. This teaches your toddler to respect her appetite and to begin understanding her hunger and fullness cues. Your 12-month-old needs about 900 calories each day, so don’t be surprised if her appetite is less robust now than it was during the first 12 months as her rate of growth is slowing.
Allow your Toddler to Self-feed
Around this time, your toddler will be getting used to drinking from a sipper cup and feeding herself with a spoon and/or her fingers. Encourage self-feeding by offering age-appropriate utensils such as small, plastic bowls and soft-bite spoons and developmentally appropriate finger foods such as GERBER® GRADUATES® Puffs or LIL’ CRUNCHIES®. As she learns to feed herself, it can be messy but have fun with it!
When planning your toddler’s meals, remember that she needs foods from across the basic food groups:
• Staples Good choices are whole-wheat toast, potatoes and GERBER® Cereals
• Legumes Good choices include peas and beans.
• Vegetables Good choices include pumpkin, cho-cho and GERBER® vegetable purees.
• Fruits Good choices include GERBER® fruit purees, sliced bananas and apples.
• Foods from animals - Good choices include easy-to-chew lean meats and poultry such as GERBER® Dinners (Turkey Rice, Vegetable Chicken and more), cooked eggs, cheese slices, milk and yogurt products such as GERBER® Mixed Fruit & Yogurt.
Don’t worry too much if your toddler seems too busy or picky to eat. You are not alone! Be patient, consult your Doctor and keep trying. Try our tips above and your toddler will eventually settle into a feeding routine you can both be happy with. Gerber will be there to ensure all their nutritional needs especially through our GERBER® GRADUATES® meal and snack solutions which are specially designed for your growing toddler or our GRADUATES® LIL’ ENTRÉES® which contain one full serving of vegetables. Choose Gerber today and give your toddler the love, protection and proper nutrition she needs.
Commitment to the WHO code
In addition to the commitment to Start Healthy, Stay Healthy programmes, Gerber and Chas. E. Ramson Ltd are also committed to complying with the World Health Organization (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
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