Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Select An Article
Font Size

Solutions for Toddler Feeding Problems

Experts offer tips for parents of picky eaters.
(continued)

Dilemma: I've noticed that my toddler doesn't eat very much at mealtimes. What should I do to improve my child's food intake?

Solution: In this case, your child may not necessarily be a picky eater. Grazing -- characterized as near-continuous nibbling or drinking, or both, throughout the day -- may be to blame.

"Grazers are often full when meal times roll around," says Delmonico.

Discourage grazing by loosely scheduling healthy meals and snacks. Think of snacks as mini-meals, and serve the same foods you would at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, such as whole grains, lean protein sources, fruits, and vegetables. 

When you serve healthy foods for snacks, there's no need to be concerned if your child skimps on the next meal. 

In addition to offering an array of healthy foods throughout the day, trust the cues your child is giving you about her hunger level.

"Kids instinctively regulate their appetites by eating when they are hungry and stopping when full," says Neville. 

Dilemma: It seems as if my toddler hardly eats anything at all. How do I know my child is OK?

Solution: During the first year of life, children typically triple their birth weight and add upwards of 10 inches of height to their frames. Growth slows down after a child's first birthday, and so does appetite.

"It's not unusual for kids to go through phases where it seems they barely eat enough to get by," says Neville. 

The good news about this toddler feeding problem? Left to their own devices, children typically tend to eat what they need. However, some children may not be getting enough for a variety of reasons.

To allay your fears, ask your pediatrician if your child is growing well according to measurements (head circumference, weight, and length) on the growth charts. You may need to consult with a registered dietitian about your child's eating habits. 

1|2|3
Reviewed on October 17, 2013
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow