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Toddler Nutrition: Making Mealtime Choices

Toddler Nutrition: Making Mealtime Choices

At this age, your toddler should be allowed to make as many decisions as she reasonably can — including what she wants to eat. Offer her nutritious foods, and let her take it from there. She doesn't need mushy foods anymore. In fact, if you give her foods with some texture to chew and swallow, her oral skills will improve, and her tastes will broaden.

A toddler's appetite and growth tend to level off in the second year, so your child won't need as much as she used to. Let her choose her own food from what the whole family is eating, but skip any added salt. Check out this article for toddler-friendly menu ideas.

Helpful hint: Try to relax at mealtime. Avoid remarks like "Look at your big brother; he loves his vegetables." Putting pressure on your child is sure to turn him off and may even lead to eating problems. Your toddler will eat when he is hungry. Make meals a casual, social time to help your child learn good eating habits. Just don't expect him to linger with the rest of you — a few minutes of his company is the most you can expect.

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