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Toddler (Ages 1 – 3 Years Old)

Nutrition

As your child advances in his/her growth development, he will become very active exploring the world by running, climbing, getting into things, playtime, and interacting with other children. With all this activity going on it’s important for your child to practice good eating habits and experience new foods for energy. Most toddlers tend to be picky eaters and it may be tough to get them to eat or eat healthy foods for that matter. This is normal behavior and as parents we worry too much that our child might not be eating enough. As time goes by your child’s appetite will start to increase and their eating habits will start to improve. This is why it’s important to introduce new healthy foods for children and cut back on junk food, like candy, fast food, or sodas. Stick with foods that are small and easy to chew so the child doesn’t choke. At this time, it’s a good idea to have the child sit at the dinner table with the whole family in order to begin practicing family time and modeling healthy eating habits from other family members. This will start the foundation toward healthy eating for your child. Snacks should also be instilled in a child’s diet between meals. Below you will find a list of healthy snacks to give to your child provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Fresh fruits: bananas, apples, peaches, sliced pears, nectarines, plums (sliced and pitted), strawberries
  • Vegetables: peas (mashed for safety), potatoes (cooked and diced), steamed broccoli and cauliflower, green beans (well cooked and diced), yams (cooked and diced)
  • Meat and protein: fish (fresh or canned tuna), peanut butter (smooth, spread thin on a cracker or bread)
  • Dairy foods: milk, yogurt (fresh or frozen), cheese (grated or diced), cottage cheese
  • Breads and cereals: whole wheat bread, soft bagels (cut into tiny pieces), crackers, dry cereal, rice cakes, no-salt pretzels

Potty Training

How do you know if your child is ready for potty training? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children will start to show interest in using the toilet around the ages of 18 months to 24 months, but are not ready until 2 ½ years of age. Be patient and let your child’s reactions be your guide as to when to begin potty training. Some children may be scared of the toilet or may be unable to tell if he/she needs to go potty. If this is the case then it may be better to hold off on introducing the whole potty training. Remember that children develop at different rates and not all children are developmentally ready to potty train at an early age, so don’t get discouraged.

Potty training is a process that takes time (about three months), consistency, patients, and practice working together with the child through encouragement and rewards. Parents need to decide appropriate words to use when describing what happens during potty time, pick a potty chair that’s right for your child, help your child recognize signs of when to use the potty, have routine potty trips, get your child to the bathroom fast when you see that your child needs to go immediately, and training pants (Huggies Pull Ups or Pampers Easy Ups) help your child feel proud and practice being a big kid. Stay with your child in the bathroom while he/she sits on the toilet and remind your child that he/she can try again later. Reward your child with praise and/or stickers after he/she has gone potty. Your child will feel happy and is more likely to do it again. Remember that accidents will happen and it’s important to stay calm, clean up the mess, and change your child’s training pants.

Reference:

HealthyChildren.Org (2010). Picky eaters. American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/nutrition/pages/Picky-Eaters.aspx

HealthyChildren.Org (2011). Selecting snacks for toddlers. American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/nutrition/pages/Selecting-Snacks-for-Toddlers.aspx

May Clinic Staff (2009). Potty training: How to get the job done. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/potty-training/CC00060

 

Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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