Caring for Toddlers
Nutrition Needs for Toddlers
Toddlers will only eat between 1 to 2 "meals" per day. Yes, it is true and it's perfectly fine.
To find more information go to www.kidshealth.org
Foods you should avoid giving to your toddler
Large sections of hot dogs
Raw cherries with pits
Round, hard candy
Peanuts and other nuts
Monkey See Monkey Do
Reduce the risk of food allergies
Solid Food for Toddlers
Textures are very important for introducing foods. Most babies prefer to start with softer, smoother textures and gradually move toward thicker foods. Firm foods, especially round foods, slippery foods and sticky foods are choking hazards. To avoid choking, don’t offer the following foods to children under 4 years of age:
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grapes, cherry tomatoes
- Whole kernel corn
- Hot dogs
- Hard, raw fruits or vegetables such as apples, celery and carrots
- Chunks of meat or poultry
- Sticky foods, such as peanut butter, which can get stuck in the back of the mouth
- Hard candy, gum drops and jelly beans
For toddlers and preschoolers, chop grapes, meat, poultry, hot dogs, and raw vegetables and fruits into small pieces (about 1/2 inch or smaller).
Your Responsiblilty When Giving Toddler Solid Foods
- Choose foods that are the right texture so your baby’s tongue and mouth can control it and swallow easily.
- Hold your baby on your lap when you first introduce solid foods. Then move your baby to a safe high chair.
- Support your baby well in an upright position so he or she can easily explore the food as much as desired.
- Have your baby sit up straight and face forward. This makes swallowing easier and choking less likely.
- Talk in a quiet, encouraging voice while you feed. There’s no need to be entertaining. Babies are easily overwhelmed and distracted with games.
Time Line for the First 2 Years
- Birth to 6 Months: Babies get all the nutrients they need from breast milk for the first six months. Infant formula is an acceptable alternative when mothers decide to decrease or discontinue breast feeding. You should not give your baby cow’s milk until after age 1.
- By 4 to 6 Months: While most babies are ready to eat solid foods now, they will continue to get most of their calories, protein, vitamins and minerals from breast milk or infant formula. Introduce iron-fortified infant or pureed meats to help replenish iron reserves.
- By 6 to 8 Months: This is an appropriate time to begin pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables. Gradually introduce single-item foods one at a time. Watch carefully for any reactions such as diarrhea, vomiting or unusual rashes.
- By 7 to 10 Months: Babies are usually ready to begin feeding themselves with finger foods, such as dry cereal or teething biscuits. They also can begin to use a cup for water.
- By 8 to 12 Months: At this stage, most infants are ready for soft or cooked table foods.
- From 1 to 2 Years: Babies continue developing eating skills. They feed themselves and enjoy the same foods as the rest of the family. Choking on firm, round foods is a risk, so cut these foods into smaller, ¼-inch squares.
- Look out for other choking hazards, including: nuts and seeds, popcorn, pretzels, raw carrots and celery, whole olives and cherry tomatoes, hot dogs, whole grapes, large pieces of meat, hard candy and cough drops, chewing gum, gummy candy, marshmallows, and cherries with pits