Tips for Feeding and Nutrition for Your 2-Year-Old

Learn some essential tips for feeding and nutrition for your 1-2 year-old child. Discover the importance of establishing healthy eating habits early on, the types of foods to offer, and how to deal with picky eaters. Get expert advice from pediatricians through the Babynama community.

It is essential to feed your 1-2 year-old child a diet that is similar to yours while continuing to experiment with different flavors and textures. Early in life, food preferences are created, so assist your child to establish a taste for healthy foods soon with patience.

Some Important Key Notes

  • A two-year-old should have three meals and one or two snacks every day.

  • Offer the same food as the rest of the family during meals.

  • Serve nutrient-dense foods as toddlers have small stomachs and need proper nutrition for growth and strength.

  • Toddlers will start experimenting with self-feeding at around 15-18 months of age.

  • Encourage self-feeding and assist when needed.

  • Offer a variety of healthy foods from all food groups and let the child choose what to eat and how much.

  • Avoid screen time during mealtime.

  • Serve juice in a cup instead of a bottle.

Unsafe Foods for Toddlers

Sweets and empty calories, such as junk food, should be avoided in your child's diet.

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, juice drinks, sports drinks, and flavored milk, should not be introduced early.

  • Junk food, including crisps, cookies, cakes, drinks, and candy, should also be avoided or introduced later in your child's diet.

  • These foods are unhealthy, high in sugar, salt, fat, and chemicals, and take up stomach space that could be filled with healthier foods.

Healthy Eating Basics & Picky Eaters

  • Breastmilk remains important for nutrition and illness protection, but other foods become primary sources of nutrition and energy.

  • If still hungry, offer other foods first and then breastfeed.

  • Each meal should include a variety of healthy foods, and offer what the family eats.

  • Include daily servings of milk, dairy, eggs, meat, fish, poultry, legumes, orange or green fruits and veggies.

  • Add a little oil or fat to the child's food for more energy.

  • Snacks should contain fresh fruit or other nutritious foods.

  • Provide one or two cups of milk or milk products daily.

Supplementation for Some Children

  • Children who have limited access to certain food groups may need vitamin and/or mineral supplements.

  • Before putting a child on a vegan diet, it is recommended to consult with a pediatrician to ensure adequate nutrition through supplements if necessary.

  • Supplements may be suggested during childhood for growth and brain development.

  • For example, Rickets is a disorder linked to a lack of vitamin D and sunlight exposure, which can be prevented with supplements.

Consult your pediatrician for advice on which vitamins to take and in what dosages.

How Much Should I Feed My Child?

  • Every day, plan three meals and two or three nutritious snacks.

  • Expect your youngster to eat less or skip meals on occasion. Many parents find this difficult, but children should be allowed to respond to their natural hunger and fullness.

  • If a child isn't hungry, don't force food on them. Toddlers who are full may push food away, seal their mouths or move their heads away from food, make hand motions, or make noises to indicate that they are full.

Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about what and how much your child is eating.

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