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Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. They may only eat a few foods, then abruptly refuse them. Toddlers also have rapidly changing appetites. Although toddlers grow steadily throughout their second year, their growth rates are less dramatic than during the first year, which often is reflected in how much they eat. Children this age may eat robustly one day and very little the next, but they usually eat the right amount to meet their caloric needs.
Toddlers are just beginning to understand that they can make their own decisions. Their need for independence and control often interferes with mealtime and eating.
There are two basic "rules" for feeding your child:
More specifically, it can help to:
You can help prevent mealtime battles by planning ahead and being aware of common issues.
For more information on strategies to help your child eat well, see the topic Healthy Eating for Children.
Last Revised: July 19, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
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