There are struggles in feeding toddlers because sometimes they tend to be picky eaters and they love to munch on snacks that they see especially those unhealthy foods. To solve this problem, it is important to have a feeding schedule so that you can easily monitor the eating habits of your toddler and so that they could be disciplined when it comes to food. 

Your toddler’s eating habits are important because this is the only source of nutrients especially when they are no longer breastfeeding. To instill healthy eating habits to your toddlers, you need to introduce to them the importance of eating at the right time with the right kinds of foods. In this article, we’ll know more information about the feeding schedule and how to practice it.

How to feed the toddler ideally throughout the day

Morning

Unlike adults that need to eat a lot during breakfast, toddlers should be given small amounts of food because they still have small stomachs that can’t contain large portions of food. During breakfast, serve just a little portion then if the child will ask for more that is the time that you can add more. It is advisable to give them grains for breakfast, banana, and milk. The advisable time when you can give them breakfast is around 6 am or 7 am. 

Morning snack

For the snacks, you can give it at least 1-2 hours before lunchtime or within 9:00-10:30 am. The snacks that you should give them should also be nutritional. Avoid giving them processed foods such as junk foods or sweets. You can give them crackers and fruits.

Lunch


Try giving your toddler a different meal from the one that you gave to him earlier. You can feed him with the meal that you have for lunch together with rice. It is possible that your child won’t have an appetite to eat for lunch, especially if you have given them a lot for the snacks or there is a possibility that you had just given them the midmorning snack too close at lunchtime.  Avoid giving them juice or milk while they are eating solid foods because they can be full easily without getting the maximized nutrients that are on their meal. You can serve lunch at around 11:30-12 pm.

Mid-afternoon snack

You can serve them mid-afternoon snacks at least 2-3 hours after lunchtime. Usually, snacks are given to them after nap time so that after the last meal has been digested. You can give him cereal or bread with milk. Mid-afternoon snack can be given at around 3:00-4:30 pm.

Dinner

Most toddlers tend to eat less at dinner because they don’t have an appetite due to the food they have eaten earlier or maybe they are tired. There’s nothing to worry about if your child doesn’t like it. When they said that they don’t want to eat because they are already full, just let them be. Dinner time is around 6:00-7:00 pm.

Evening snack

There are some instances wherein your toddler needs to have an evening snack before bedtime depending on the quantity of food given throughout the day. Most parents do not want to give evening snacks to their toddlers because it might cause an upset stomach that is why it is only given if the toddler requested it. 

How many meals should you give your toddler?


The ideal number of meals that should be given to your toddler is about three main meals and two or three snack times throughout the day. The three main meals are distributed as breakfast, lunch, and dinner while the snack time is distributed one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening which is optional. Every meal or snack is given to them, there should always be a 2-3 hours interval so that your toddlers still have time to work on their appetite for the next meal. 

Is the feeding schedule essential to your toddlers?

The goal of having a feeding schedule is to feed your toddlers healthy meals and snacks every single day at the exact time. It provides a structure so that your toddler’s bodily system knows the cues when to get hungry and when to expect food. The feeding schedule is also a way for your toddler to eat better because it ensures that the intervals of giving them food are just enough. It can’t be avoided that your toddler tends to be picky with food that is given to them, with the feeding schedule, you will not worry much because you know that there are still opportunities within the day where your toddler will eat.

Tips on feeding your toddler

  • It is still advisable to breastfeed your baby even beyond two years old especially if your toddler still wants to.
  • During their toddler years, your aim is to let your child eat more healthy foods if they are still drinking milk in their bottle, you may transfer it to a drinking cup because they tend to drink more milk when they use a bottle lessening their healthy food intake.
  • It is better to offer your toddler with water in between meals rather than milk or juice so as not to lessen their appetite.
  • Give your toddlers meals at the same time every day so that their feeding cycle is not disrupted.
  • Let your child decide how much and what kind of healthy food to eat. It is normal for them to refuse certain foods but you need to find ways on how to change their minds.
  • Make sure that the food that you will serve them can be eaten easily, you may need to cut it in bite-size or smash it if needed.
  • It is advisable to give your toddler food in portion; there are suggestions to start with one tablespoon per age so if your child is about 2 years old give him at least 2 tablespoons of food if your child is still hungry you can add it still.

Read also:

[Best Freezer Meals For Toddlers]
[Introducing Dried Beans to Toddlers]
[Weaning off Breastfeeding: How to Stop Breastfeeding a Toddler?]

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