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Learning About Feeding Your Toddler

By age 2 or 3, your toddler may prefer certain foods and dislike others. Toddlers may have a lot of variation in how hungry they are each day. Giving your toddler new foods to try can encourage a love of variety, texture, and taste. Exploring new foods is a skill that takes time and practice to learn.

Toddlers may need many tries before accepting a new food. Keep offering them new foods—even if they don't like them the first time.

Make healthy foods available to your toddler. Your toddler can decide how much to eat.

Ways to help your toddler with healthy eating

Serve healthy foods and drinks.

  • Offer lots of vegetables and fruits every day.
  • Provide healthy snacks that your toddler likes.
  • Offer water when your toddler is thirsty.

Prepare for meals and snacks.

  • Have a snack and meal routine. Try 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks a day.
  • Trust your toddler's eating. It's okay if they eat a lot at one meal and not much at the next.
  • Let your toddler help in the kitchen as soon as they show interest.

Help your toddler try new foods.

  • Give foods in small portions. Offer 1 or 2 spoonfuls to start.
  • Eat with your toddler. Serve them the same healthy foods you eat.

Practice healthy eating habits together.

  • Be a role model. Let your toddler see you eat healthy foods.
  • Try not to use food as a reward.

To check out more tips go to Feeding Toddlers and Young Children.

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