GROW HAPPY BABIES
Health and Safety Tips For You and Your Baby
2 to 3 Years
– Make the most out of meal time
– Make sure everyone in your family washes their hands before and after they eat.
– Your toddler can eat most of the food the family eats for dinner. They love to eat with you and their other family members. Have fun at dinner time by talking and paying attention to your toddler.
– Your toddler is learning to do things you can do. They can use a small spoon or fork. It might be a little messy but they’ll get better and better at it. Messy mouths and hands can be wiped up with a napkin.
“My son loves to tell stories at meal time. I’ll listen to a story and ask him questions or tell him a story I have”
Trust your baby to eat the right amount of food.Their tummy is still little, they’ll know when they are hungry or not.
You, the parent, can help them by deciding what healthy foods they can eat. He or she will decide what and how much they want to eat. Start with small amounts of food and wait for your toddler to ask for more.
“Growing up, my parents always made me ‘finish my plate’. When my son came, I realized it is better to let him decide when he has eaten enough. I give him a little bit of food and he tells me when he wants more”
Just like allergies you have, your toddler can be allergic to some foods such as cow’s milk, whole eggs, and peanut butter. It is okay for your toddler to try these foods if there is no family history. In your toddler’s eyes, you are the nutrition expert!
Food to Grow Healthy Toddlers
Give your toddler 4 or 5 grains per day. Try to make half of the grains whole grains.
- 1 slice of bread or tortilla
- 1 cup of dry cereal
- One-half cup cooked rice, noodles, oatmeal
- 6 small crackers
Offer your toddler 3 or more vegetables per day, especially a dark green or orange veggie.
- One-half cup cooked chopped veggies
- 1 cup raw veggies
- 2 ounces vegetable juice
Offer 2 or 3 servings of fruit per day. Fruits high in Vitamin C such as oranges, strawberries, melons, mangoes, and papayas are especially important.
- 1/2 Cup fresh, canned, frozen fruit
- 4 ounces 100% fruit juice (no more than this)
Give your toddler 3 or 4 servings of protein a day. Meat and beans give your toddler the most iron to keep their blood strong.
- 2 tablespoons of chopped meat (chicken, turkey, fish)
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons cooked, mashed beans
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons tofu
Give your toddler 4 or 5 servings of dairy a day but no more than 16 ounces. Dairy provides calcium for strong bones and teeth.
- 4 ounces of milk
- 4 ounces of yogurt
- 1 slice of cheese
Safe foods for your toddler are bite-sized and one they can chew easily. To make food safe for your toddler, try the following:
Cut grapes in half
Spread peanut butter thinly
Cut hot dogs the long way
Foods that your baby might choke on include:
Raw, hard veggies
Spoonful of peanut butter
Chunks of meat
Playtime and Kitchen Help
Your toddler has so much energy.Play time with them makes sure they grow healthier, smarter, stronger, and happier! Here are some ideas to get playing!
Dance to music
Play leap frog
Take a walk together
Make believe cooking, exploring the jungle, being animals, or anything!
Your toddler loves to help in the kitchen and be with you. They can help with lots of different things. You’ll enjoy the help and company. Some fun kitchen ideas to do with your toddler include:
Picking fruits and veggies at the store
Rinse fruits and veggies
Mash soft fruits and veggies
Spread butter and peanut butter on bread
Make a sandwich
Cut soft foods with a plastic knife
Peel oranges, bananas, and boiled eggs
Set the table
Clear the table and wipe it off after a meal
Throw things in the trash.
Setting the table
Talking about what you are doing
Not only are you the greatest teacher for your toddler. You are also their biggest cheerleader. Your toddler loves hearing you say “You are doing a good job!” ,“I’m proud of you!”, and “You are special!”