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Healthy Eating

DOs

Be a role model

Eat healthy! Show your child that you and other family members eat a variety of foods and try new things. Sharing items off your plate can help your toddler try new foods. Sharing is caring!

Have a positive attitude

Make mealtimes enjoyable by creating a positive, calm environment. Praise can also be helpful, but be careful not to go overboard, and never be critical.

Have healthy snacks available

Try these healthy snacks for toddlers: Fresh fruits and cut-up vegetables kept in the refrigerator are a perfect quick snack. So are cubes of cheese, yogurt, hummus, dried fruits, and nuts.

Get your child to chip in!

From picking out recipes to preparing them, children involved in preparing meals are more likely to have healthy eating habits. Give your child age-appropriate tasks such as mixing the batter, tearing up lettuce, measuring and adding ingredients.

Offer variety

Don't assume your kid won't like a certain food. Try a variety of flavours and foods from different cultures and cuisines to avoid mundanity.

DON’Ts

Bring your phone to the table

Avoid all screens during mealtime; turn off the television and put away your phone. Distracted eating does not inspire healthy eating habits.

Force it

Lead by example by showing your child you enjoy the food and he or she can decide to try it. Don’t force the child to eat. Encourage the child to try new foods by serving them along with favorites. Your child should always be in control of how much he or she eats.

Give up

Expose your child to a wide variety of fruits and veggies from an early age. Try diversifying the presentation of new foods. Remember, you probably also have foods you do not like! The more often your child sees the food, the more likely he or she will be to try it willingly.

Have an all-or-nothing policy

Is your toddler refusing to eat? Forget the "Clean Plate Club". Offering a healthy well-balanced meal at every meal helps teach healthy eating habits without forcing your child to eat everything. A forceful approach will likely lead to refusal. It is important that your child learn to listen to his or her internal signals to decide how much to eat.

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