What to Expect When Your Toddler Starts Eating

Once your baby reaches the one month stage he or she is no longer an infant. The first three years of life are a period of incredible growth in all areas of a baby's development.

Be sure too to read this chapter no matter how old your child is…a lot of wisdom here applies to children and also adults, especially in the nutrition sections.

From one year to two years old the child will learn how to feed him or herself many different foods. You might also see the toddler begin to use utensils such as a fork or a spoon. The toddler will be using actions and words to communicate thoughts and feeling. He or she may be showing you want he or she wants to eat, what he or she finds delicious and what he or she does not want to eat.

You might find the child is more willing to try new foods and be more willing to depend on herself instead of you.

The toddler is also going to start becoming quite messy. They love to play with their food and paint everything with it, including the tray, the big and you. Many toddlers will throw food and plates for fun and also drop food on the floor.

From two years to three years old the toddler might start choosing which foods to eat. He or she might use words to express thoughts and feelings.

This is the age at which your toddler will learn how to tell you he or she is full. This is very important in the long term for the health of your child. Knowing when to stop eating stops your toddler from growing up to be and overweight child.

Pay attention when your toddler makes a fuss about eating a certain food. It could be that the food is too strong in taste, too hot or even that your toddler is having a mild allergic reaction to it.

A happy toddler is not screaming, crying and protesting while eating. He or she may play with the food but usually they see meal time as a positive, even creative experience.

Understanding that your toddler needs to play with food helps they develop in a healthy way later in life.

From one to three years old, your toddler's palate will expand and so will your menu.
• Offer 3-4 healthy choices during mealtimes
• Offer 2-3 healthy snacks a day.
• Stop making separate meals for the toddler and integrate what the whole family is eating into the toddler diet
One of the most important things you can do for a toddler is to eat at the same time every day. This helps them get used to the idea of meal-time

Feeding Routines for Happy Infants

Technically a newborn becomes an infant after reaching the age of one month. The baby remains one until one year old when he or she technically becomes a toddler.
This first year of life is crucial as the way you treat the infant can really affect how he or she will psychologically and physically develop as well as influence the baby's relationship with food.

One important thing is to not force a child of this age to eat. You should never expect him or her to finish a bottle or an entire job of baby food. Putting pressure on a baby causes both emotional and physical discomfort. The pain of overeating for an infant is due to undeveloped organs.

You should also never shame a baby into eating or make him or her think that eating is all about 'control.' This could result in a personality that becomes anxious, obsessive and a future over-eater. Many babies that feel controlled around mealtime rituals become anorexics or bulimics.

Another routine that can never be established early enough is eating at the same time every day. This type of habit tends to 'take hold' as part of your developing baby's instincts and also last well into maturity. It prevents snacking and overeating.

You should try to avoid buying baby foods that contain additives, coloring agents and preservatives. If you must buy commercial baby food rather than make your own then be sure to read the labels. You also want to avoid addicting baby to foods that contain MSG, sugar and too much salt. These additives make food seem so delicious that it will be very hard for you to get your baby to eat things that are less attractive but truly nutritious such as pureed broccoli or yams.

The same thing goes for sugar. The baby who eats chocolate pudding will prefer that over peaches or bananas for dessert. Shunning foods is too easy for an infant' sugar and salt are so addicting they will throw big tantrums to get it.

If you want your baby to develop a positive attitude towards mealtime then it is also a good idea to make it seem more sociable and exciting by talking to the baby about the food and how great it is to share mealtime together. This will make the baby look forward to eating with the family.