Give your toddler healthy choices as they explore new foods and flavors.
Toddlers are learning to feed themselves and to eat new foods during this important time of growth and development. Young children have small stomachs and are developing food preferences, so make every bite count!
Behaviors sometimes considered to be “picky eating” are normal for toddlers as they explore new foods and learn to communicate their needs and preferences. Try the following tips to help with this behavior in a positive way:
- Your child may be unwilling to try new foods. Try serving a new food alongside a familiar food in the same meal. It may take a child up to 8-10 tries to accept a new food.
- Your child may not eat the exact amounts suggested every day. Try to balance the amounts over a few days or a week.
- Offer different foods from all five food groups each day. Encourage your child to choose from a variety of foods.
- Serve foods in small portions at scheduled meals and snacks.
- Toddlers can easily fill up on beverages. Offer water if your child is thirsty in between meals.
- Let your child help prepare meals. Even young children can rinse fruits and vegetables, tear lettuce, or stir ingredients. Children get excited about tasting items when they have been involved in the preparation.
Healthy Eating for Toddlers
Kitchen Helper Activities
Food Safety for Children Under 5
CDC’s Milestone Tracker