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Tips on Toddler Nutrition


Toddler Nutrition

Debra Whaley, M.D.​
Boys Town Pediatrics

Toddler nutrition is very important. It kind of sets the basis for he​althy eating for the rest of their life. With childhood obesity on the rise it is very important to get a good start and good foundation for their eating habits and what they're eating early in life.

What should my toddler be eating?

As long as you're eating a healthy diet and a variety of different foods they should be eating exactly what you're eating. You shouldn't have to make anything separate for them. Toddlers can like broccoli and toddlers can like cauliflower. You just have to teach them how to like it and they get used to it. It will be one of their favorite foods.

When should I introduce new foods to my toddler?

Start early and you have to introduce them often because they aren't going to like it the first time. They aren't going to like it the second and certainly won't like it the third time. It might take 10 to 12 tries before they like it. You might have to offer it in different ways.  A good example is sweet potatoes. You can offer it as sweet potato fries; you can make sweet potato chips, mash it or do lots of things with it. As long as they are getting that taste they'll eventually start to like it.

How should I deal with my picky eater?

​Mostly it's maintaining the offering of a variety. Usually if they start getting picky the parents get into the habit of making their own foods for them. They don't want to eat it so we make them macaroni and cheese and then they only want mac and cheese. That's what they will eat because they haven't tried anything else in a long time. So, it's making sure you don't fall into those habits of catering to the picky eater.

There are certain picky eaters that you'll have to talk to your doctor about and they can address certain issues with them too.​​

Do you have a picky eater? Dr. Debra Whaley, Board Certified Pediatrician at Boys Town Pediatrics, explains the importance of toddler nutrition, what your toddler should be eating, when to introduce new foods and how to deal with a picky eater.