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How to provide a healthy toddler diet

A healthy toddler diet now can set your little one up for a lifetime of healthy eating. Here are some nutrition building blocks for the best food for toddlers.

2 mins to read Jan 23, 2021
  • Choose foods with little or no added salt or sugar
  • Offer a variety of foods, generally following the advice in Canada’s Food Guide.
  • Remember that toddler-sized servings are much smaller than adults’.  A serving of bread for a one to two-year-old is around half a slice, and a serving of meat is around 30g (1oz)—that’s about a third of your palm.
  • A regular routine of meals and snacks will help you and your toddler.
  • Give your toddler more food if he shows you that he’s hungry. Just don’t overload his plate with too much at the start.
  • Serve foods in appropriate sizes and texture—whole carrots and whole grapes are potential choking hazards. Carrots should be cooked soft and cut into bite-sized pieces and grapes should be cut up in half lengthwise.
  • Growing minds and bodies use up their reserves quickly. Keep your toddler topped up with a routine that includes healthy snacks.
  • Health Canada recommends continued breastfeeding for older infants and children. If you are not breastfeeding, choose pasteurized, homogenized (3.25% M.F.) cow milk as your child’s main milk source starting between 9 and 12 months when they are eating a variety of iron-rich foods..
  • Limit juice and sweetened beverages and give your child water instead. Young children have small tummies and fill up quickly on beverages.
  • Continue your child’s vitamin D supplement if they are still drinking breast milk.
  • If you think you’ve got a picky eater, read our checklist on how to help

Sources

Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, & Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (2014) Nutrition for healthy term infants: Recommendations from six to 24 months. Accessed September 2020.

Sources

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