Top 2 Tips for Feeding Your Toddler: Role Modeling and Trust

1-2 Years

You blinked your eyes, and that sweet baby is now a toddler. It’s an exciting new chapter, and there’s lots of advice out there on walking, talking and everything in between. As for feeding and food parenting, we’ve broken down two of the most important tips that will go a long way toward preventing picky eating and tantrums.

1

Be a role model

As your baby is getting older, he is starting to pay more and more attention to what you eat and drink. Have you already noticed him whining and reaching for your food? (If you haven’t, it’s coming.)

Let’s face it, parents and family are a child’s biggest eating role models, so it’s important for you to eat and serve the same healthy foods and beverages you want him to eat and drink. Not only are you showing your baby what healthy eating looks like, but you’re also helping prevent temper tantrums. Think of it this way: If Mom, Dad and sister are all eating the same healthy foods as your toddler, he won’t be distracted by a food or drink he can’t have. If Mom, Dad or sister has something off limits that your toddler wants (like candy), now that’s a different story…one that usually ends in tears.

For more advice on being a positive role model for your toddler, click here.

2

Trust that he knows when he is full

Sometime after your child’s first birthday, his growth will slow down. This may result in a smaller appetite, but don’t worry—he still knows how much to eat. Pay attention to his hunger and fullness cues, and avoid pushing him to clean his plate or to take one more bite. Teaching him to ignore his cues will only cause a power struggle, leading to picky eating, tantrums and a negative relationship with food. Studies show that a child’s eating habits are hardwired by age 3, so bad habits like those will be very difficult to break.

For more tips on helping your child develop healthy eating habits, check out this article.