Make Food Easy for Toddlers
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If you have a toddler who is learning to eat, you probably know just how
messy they can get. It is important they learn to feed themselves as part of
their development. Here are some ideas to help make mealtime less stressful for
you and your baby.
- Cut food into bite-sized pieces, cut meat up finely.
- Make some foods soft and moist.
- Serve foods warm, not too hot.
- Substitute ground beef patties for steaks and chops.
- Serve salads without dressing as a finger food.
- Make soups thin enough to drink or thick enough to spoon.
- Let child use child-sized spoons and small forks with dull prongs.
- Use unbreakable dishes (and let child help with serving and clean-up).
- Seat child at a comfortable height to the table with feet supported.
- Use plates or bowl which have sides to push food against.
- Make food attractive and colorful, but don’t bribe with gimmicks.
- Keep child seated while eating and keep things calm to avoid choking.
- Allow child enough time to eat—at least a half hour is needed—but don’t
force him or her to stay until plate is cleaned.
Karen Elliot, ElliottK@missouri.edu
Regional Specialist, Nutrition and Health Education
Jackson County, Missouri
University of Missouri Extension