The toddler (ages 1 to 3 years) phase can often be challenging when it comes to feeding. Several developmental changes occur at this time. Toddlers are striving for independence and control. Their growth rate slows down and with this comes a decrease in appetite. These changes can make meal time difficult. It is important for parents to provide structure and set limits for the toddler.

A toddler can want to be in control at meal time. As a caregiver, you are responsible for what the child is offered to eat and where and when it is presented. The child is then responsible for how much food he or she eats. Talk to your child, but not about how much food he/she needs to eat. This will help to avoid struggles and control issues at mealtimes. This responsibility includes providing a quiet, pleasant, distraction-free (no television or radio), and safe environment for meals and snacks. The following are suggestions to help manage your child’s nutrition.