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A guide to family meals for toddlers

Wondering how you can enjoy family meals for toddlers? Eating together is a lovely way to bring everyone together and to teach your toddler about healthy eating. They may not always be as relaxing as you’d like though! Here are some family meal ideas with toddlers to keep dinnertime a drama-free zone.

2 mins to read Oct 7, 2020
  • Have the whole family eat at a table as much as possible. Read about the benefits of family meals here. 
  • Even if your toddler has already eaten, sit them in their highchair at the table, and if they’re showing signs of hunger, offer some of the age-appropriate options from the family table.
  • Toddlers are little copycats, so make sure they can see you clearly so you can show them how it’s done.
  • Give them smaller portions of what the family is eating on an unbreakable plate.
  • Talk to them about the meal, its taste, colors, smells, and textures.
  • Don’t focus all your attention on them—help them feel included in the discussion with the whole family.
  • Trust your toddler to know their own hunger and fullness cues. Don’t worry if they don’t clear their plate.
  • Do offer a variety of healthy foods, for baby and the whole family.
  • Don’t switch on the TV or have phones or screens during mealtimes.
  • If eating out, try choosing times when your toddler will be awake and ready to eat. Some restaurants are more kid-friendly than others.
  • Make sure the restaurant is kid-friendly with highchairs, child-sized meals, and child-friendly plates and cutlery.
  • If they have a tantrum in a restaurant or café, try taking them outside or to a quiet corner for a moment. They could just be overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and smells of a busy environment. 

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