Saturday, May 16

Feeding a Toddler

I got this information from a WIC pamphlet. I am so sorry if it's wrong, I didn't make it up. I did put ice cream for dairy.
But that was only because that was the only "dairy" my clipart offered. Anyway, we'll pretend it's yogurt. 
Feeding a toddler can be work and it can also be stressful! Holy cow, who knew? Especially when you've had a fairly non-picky baby, it's an eye-opener when your kid loses interest in a lot of foods. But I'm here to comfort you because sometimes you just need someone to tell you your kid's okay. 

I was pretty worried about it at first. I thought Tenley was going to starve and I was already stressed about her low weight. But the good people of WIC (which is a great resource for pregnant women and mothers whether you use their service or not) saved me and gave me peace of mind. 

They taught me a couple of important things. Here they are:
  • You (the parent) are in charge of WHAT your child eats and WHEN they eat.
  • Your child is in charge of WHETHER OR NOT they eat, and HOW MUCH (though this is within reason). 
  • They also taught me that some days, your child will not eat and that that is normal and okay. You should still offer food and help them try new things, but there will be days when you'll realize all your child has had is a sippy cup of milk, some fruit snacks, and half a granola bar (this is Tenley all the time...). For whatever reason, toddlers do not require food in the same way we do. They need nutrients and fuel but their bodies are still adjusting and they will let you know when they're hungry. This does not mean, however, you should let them graze all day (Tenley) and then let them refuse food at meals. Try to plan three fairly regular meals a day for your toddler, plus two snack periods in between. If you are offering items from the list above each day, you are in good shape. 
  • One last thing to note: somedays your child will eat more of one group and maybe none of another. Like ours, their preferences change. Just be sure to offer each food group anyway and in a variety so they can discover which foods they like. 

The chart above dictates the five main food groups, the approximate serving size your child should be taking in daily (ideally) and some suggestions/ideas for approximate serving amounts. I have found it tremendously helpful. I have the pamphlet I got this information from hanging on our fridge and I look at it daily. 

As I feed Tenley I'm always kind of estimating the amounts she's received to determine if she's close to the recommended amounts. Some days we get there, but most of the time we don't (mainly with veggies...those are hard). Now I'm actually kind of glad about the days she doesn't eat a lot only because the next day or two after she's much hungrier and kind of makes up for it. Still, I know she's doing okay overall and that somehow we'll make it through to the next stage.;)

That's all I have for now, I hope this information is useful to someone! Just keep at it, toddler mamas! :)

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