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You can foster healthy eating habits in your toddler by:
- Offering nutritious foods from the four food groups, according to Canada's Food Guide
- Setting regular meal and snack times – approximately every 2-3 hours
- Respecting your toddler’s appetite – let her determine how much she wants to eat
- Serving meals and snacks at the same time each day
- Setting a good example - your child is more likely to eat her carrots if you eat yours
- Involving your toddler in planning menus, shopping or cooking
- Avoiding using food as a reward – praise her with words instead
- Making mealtimes fun - try different shapes, colours, flavours, textures and finger foods
- Allowing her to take her time - within a reasonable time limit
- Serving small portions – and let her have another portion if she wants. Toddlers are intimidated by large amounts of food.
- Offering plenty of choices – for example, let her choose between carrots or broccoli.
- Encouraging family mealtimes – children who eat meals regularly with their family tend to have healthier eating habits.