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You’ll probably notice a sharp drop in your toddler’s appetite after his first birthday. Suddenly he’s picky about what he eats, turns his head away after just a few bites, or resists coming to the table at mealtimes. It may seem as if he should be eating more now that he’s so active, but there’s a good reason for the change. His growth rate has slowed, and he really doesn’t require as much food now.
Τhe eating habits of toddlers are erratic and unpredictable from one day to the next! For example, your child may:
Eat everything in sight at breakfast and almost nothing else for the rest of the day.
Eat only the same food for three days in a row—and then reject it entirely.
Eat 1,000 calories one day, but then eat noticeably more or less over the next day or two.
More and more, he’ll insist on feeding himself. To make it easier, serve thick-textured foods – mashed potatoes, casseroles – that stick to a spoon. The range of finger foods can expand to include finely chopped meat, chicken, or fish.
One year olds need foods from the same basic nutrition groups that you do.
Try to provide your child with selections from each of the basic food groups and let him or her experiment with a wide variety of tastes, colors, and textures. This way, he or she should be eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, covering all nutritional needs of this age group.
You should not restrict fats from your one-year-old’s menu and you should always make sure food is cool enough to prevent mouth burns. You should not give foods that are heavily spiced, salted, buttered, or sweetened- additions like that prevent your child from experiencing the natural taste of foods, and may be harmful to long-term good health.
Your little one can still choke on chunks of food. Children don’t learn to chew with a grinding motion until they’re about four years old! Make sure anything you give your child is mashed or cut into small, easily chewable pieces.
Make sure your child eats only while seated and while supervised by an adult. Although your one-year-old may want to do everything at once, “eating on the run” or while talking increases the risk of choking. Teach your child as early as possible to finish a mouthful prior to speaking.