Toddler Meals | My Tips to Make it a Success

I am not an expert on nutrition, but I thought I would share some of my tips that have helped us achieve positive eating experiences with G. Its seems that several Mamas have the same concern with toddler meal time. I have several friends with little ones around the 2-3 year old range and the nutrition concerns are many.

  • Is my little one eating enough?
  • What is a balanced meal for my toddler?
  • I have a picky eater!
  • My toddler is a snacker.
  • How much milk does my toddler need?

The list goes on and on. There is no right or wrong way here. Do what you feel is best for your situation.

At 2 years and 1 month G finally gave up drinking from a Mam bottle. She had been drinking milk only from a bottle since she self weaned from breast feeding a little after she turned one. One day a switch went off {after us buying every single sippy on the market} and G decided she was ready to drink her milk in a sippy. Now, when she was bottle drinking, she drank about 20-25 ounces of whole milk a day. Plus, I gave her snacks like cereal, or those darn goldfish crackers. Meals were a  a struggle, because she didn’t want to eat much. Just kind of wanted to pick and eat bites. I didn’t think too much of it, but then I realized, maybe she is too full of milk…and snacks?

Hmmmm….

I cut the snacks cold turkey. She didn’t seems to care. She does get a snack cup when we go out in the car for errands or an extended amount of time.

Well, once we switched to sippy cups, which are huge, I cut right down on the milk. She only gets three sippy cups a day and only the morning cup is full. The rest are 3/4 or half full.

Now the meals. My tips:

  • All of us as a family or at least one adult will eat with G at every meal.
  • We all eat the same food. I think this is very important because if G sees us eating a particular food item she is more inclined to try it…and like it.
  • We are very diligent with our eating times. We eat breakfast no later than 8/8:30, lunch is always around 11:30/12 and dinner is at 5pm. Those times never change unless we have guests or are traveling. Bascially we have trained her tummy when to be hungry.
  • I only cook/prepare 1 meal per meal. So, if G does not like what I have cooked she doesn’t eat. Initially there may have been 1 or 2 times this happened, but she totally gets it now.
  • Milk is never given with the meal. So, milk around 7am, around 10:30am, and then again after nap around 2:30pm. That way there is enough time in between for her to be hungry again for the meal.

Still, G is picky about certain things (veggies, veggies, veggies).  There are days when she does not want to eat much, and other days when she wolfs down more food than me, and I’m preggers!

Feel free to poke around my recipe page too. G loves smoothie’s and has eaten most everything that is included there.

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About Candice

Candice is a mom of three under 5. Originally from the smallest state of Rhode Island, now living in Connecticut. From working gal to stay-at-home mom, she is walking the path of the Modern Mom.

Comments

  1. Good tips! Leila is a snacker and milk drinker too. I decided just this week to cut back on the milk. I do serve it with breakfast since that’s when I drink it too (about a half sippy cup) but the other time is after nap. We drink a smoothie first thing in the morning so breakfast is usually light because she’s full from it. I think I need to be more consistent with meal and snack times to keep them spaced out. I keep telling myself that she will not starve herself and as long as I am offering healthy choices she will be fine (just tiny!)

  2. My daughters (4 and 15mos) each get 1 cup of milk first thing in the morning, the older gets 1 cup with dinner and the babe gets her 1 cup before bed. I have literally measured 1 cup because the older is a drinker/snacker. The babe, in theory, could still get a third, but she’s chunky. My older doesn’t eat breakfast, but could eat everything for lunch and dinner if she likes it today (she’s not picky, just stubborn and opinionated). The baby wants to eat ALL THE THINGS until lunch, then wants next to nothing until dinner and a snack before bed. If they don’t like what’s for dinner, I offer one other option – mac n cheese. I throw the individual cups in the microwave and they’re done. If they don’t like those options, tough luck.

    Just another opinion to add to the mix. 🙂

  3. These are great times, and my meal times are literally the EXACT SAME as yours!! 🙂 Although, I’ve done the opposite with milk. Chloe isn’t so into it anymore, so she only gets it with her meals and she never finishes. She asks for water all day. She won’t even drink juice. But you won’t hear me complain on that! haha But, I totally agree about them eating the same as the family and having someone eat with them. It’s no fun eating alone! 😉

  4. Omg I just wrote a “getting kids to eat” post for moonfrye with very similar tips. I think this means we are doing it right since both of us have good little eaters on our hands 🙂

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