Many mothers worry that their children are not eating enough. While this is a concern for many moms throughout the growing years, it is particularly true during the toddler and preschool years—sometimes referred to as the ‘picky eating’ years. It is important to remember that what may seem like a little bit of food to an adult is often quite a lot of food for a toddler.
When placing meals or snacks on your toddler’s plate, try serving a smaller portion than you would typically have, then if they would like more to eat they can always ask for seconds. Some appropriate serving sizes for young children include:
Keep in mind that toddlers like to graze, and what may seem like a very small amount of food actually adds up over the course of the day. In Better Food for Kids we give examples of a ‘picky eating’ day and you can see the calories really add up.
Sample Menu for a Picky 3 Year-Old
This provides approximately 1000 calories and 44 grams of protein and meets more than 50% of iron requirements.
Source: Better Food for Kids, page 25
Always remember that growth is the best indicator for whether or not your child is getting enough. Ask to see your child’s growth chart at your next visit to the family doctor to see the pattern of your child’s weight gain.