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What should I be feeding my toddler and how can I make the whole process less of a battle?

What a young child eats can have a significant effect on their growth and development as well as there future eating habits.

It’s therefore vitally important for parents to provide their toddlers with a healthy balanced diet.

However, it’s also important to not go overboard. Becoming obsessed with your child’s diet will do neither of you any good. A sensible balance is clearly needed, and the following points should help you reach it:

Remember she is only little
Because of our ever increasing desire to feed our toddlers properly, it can be easy to forget how little our two and three year olds actually are. They only have small mouths, small stomachs and small appetites. A banana may seem like a snack to us but to a toddler it’s more like a three course dinner.

Young children don’t need massive meals or super sized snacks, so keep the portions small. If they’re still hungry after eating they will ask for more.

And it’s worth remembering that although you should try to provide your toddler with as much nourishment as possible, toddlers will still grow and develop with a fairly limited diet.

Don’t expect her to like everything
Toddlers are just like grown ups - they like some foods but dislike others. Yes, you should try to encourage her to eat a healthy diet with plenty fruit and vegetables but don’t force her to eat something she doesn’t like. There are always alternatives.

Snacks
Toddlers love snacks. Meal times can often seem as a bit of a chore for them but eating between meals is great. Giving your toddler plenty snacks is fine just as long as you feed her the right kind of snacks. Sweets, crisps and chocolate should only be used from time to time. Instead stick to more healthier options like yogurt, cheese, breadsticks and of course fruit and vegetables.

Refusal to eat
It's very common for toddlers to refuse to eat anything at meal times. The important thing to remember is that, just like grown ups, they will eat when they’re hungry. There's no point losing your patience or indeed your temper, and it’s certainly nothing to worry about.

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