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Teaching toddlers to eat well

Coles Baby & Toddler Club
Thursday, August 23, 2012

Toddlers' appetites vary from day to day, depending on what they're doing and also on what their bodies are going through in the way of growth spurts. Don’t focus on how much they’re eating. Instead, concentrate your efforts on providing a good range of healthy options.

Fruit and vegetables
Jam-packed with nutrients and fibre, fruits and vegetables should be a regular feature of your toddler's diet. Keep up the apple slices and carrot sticks.

Baby & Toddler Club: Apple porridge

Cutlets: The meat of the cutlet is exquisitely tender meat. Buy them as a full rack or in individual cutlets. Cutlets respond well to marinades.

Rice, pasta and bread
Grain-based foods such as rice, pasta and bread are the staple of cuisines the world over – and for good reason. They supply the body with much-needed energy throughout the day. You can give these foods to your toddler every day.

Fish, meat and poultry
Many of the vitamins and minerals essential for brain and body development are found in fish, meat and poultry. Parents who want their toddlers to have vegetarian and vegan diets will need to find other sources for these nutrients.

Dairy products
The calcium that comes in cows' milk, and therefore in other dairy products like yoghurt and cheese, is important for toddlers as they grow. Parents who want their toddlers to have vegan diets will need to find other sources for calcium.

Variety
Different foods contain different nutrients – but they're all important for growing bodies. The best way to make sure your toddler is getting all the nutrients he or she needs is to provide a wide variety of foods. Try not to get stuck in a rut with meals and snacks.

What not to feed a toddler

Encouraging your toddler to eat what the rest of the family is eating is a good rule of thumb. However, even in a healthy household, there are some foods that should be left off your toddler’s plate.

Fried foods
A meal of fried fish or chicken is perfectly acceptable from time to time in a well-rounded diet. However, the fat content may be too much for your toddler's tummy. Keep aside his or her portion and grill it instead.

Rich sauces
Many delicious recipes include a good dash of wine. It's better if your child doesn't consume alcohol at all, so either substitute a good stock for the wine, or serve up your toddler's meal without sauce.

Chilli challenges
Hot spices are best avoided. If the family is eating something particularly hot, think about setting aside your toddler's portion before the chilli goes in. Otherwise, this may be an occasion when your toddler needs a different meal.

Brought to you by Coles Baby & Toddler Club

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