At around two years old, your toddler is slowly growing into a kind of child who adapts to your regular meals. This is a great opportunity to introduce them to healthier options, which also means that we should opt for healthier foods as well. The healthier your toddler is, the better their growth and learning development.
For this reason, as a provider of quality child care in Vineland, New Jersey, we always encourage parents to work out everything they think is best for their child’s growth and development. Eating is one of these essentials. However, there is also the matter of the amount of food intake ideal for your toddler. How much should you really need to serve to a toddler to know they’re eating just enough for them while at the same time healthy for their age?
Here are some of our recommendations to achieve that:
- Follow Their Lead
Our toddlers are already learning to be independent individuals. They can exercise small decisions for themselves and even assert on these choices. When they get hungry, you can be sure they will seek you out to get their tummies full. To know if they have eaten enough, follow your child’s cues. As long as they still want to eat, help them out. You can trust that when they’re full, they will also stop eating. However, here’s a caveat. Ensure they are eating nutrition-packed foods. As much as possible, avoid sweets and candies especially right before mealtime. This is to ensure that their appetite is still for the meals you’ve prepared.
- Select Finger Foods
Along with the above-mentioned recommendation, serve your toddler with healthy finger foods. From thinly sliced fruit salads to boxed cereals, finger foods are appealing to toddlers. This is because, at this age, they want to explore self-feeding, again, as part of their quest for independence. If you are also enrolling them in our day care center, ensure that their snacks are healthy finger foods. We recommend sliced carrots or apples so they can help themselves easily. However, you also need to practice them on the hand-washing habit. This is to ensure that their hands are clean when they do self-feed.
- Maintain a Schedule
If you’re also following a meal routine at home, it also helps to improve your child’s eating habits. As they submit to these routines, their appetite for food also follows. With these habits, you can also determine the amount of food that your toddler prefers every time. However, always ensure that they are being served with healthy meals.
Because healthy eating and quality learning go together, we also back you up at DiBiase Baby Steps. As a provider of early childhood education in New Jersey, we integrate mealtimes in our toddler programs so that your child becomes more alert and participative in learning. We got your back, mom and dad!
If you would like to know more about our other toddler programs, feel free to ask us!