Breast milk is best for your baby.

Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend that you exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months and that you continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years or longer along with complementary foods.

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Meal ideas and healthy snacks for toddlers

Frustrated because you spend a lot of time preparing healthy and delicious food for your little one who refuses to eat? Or it ends up on the floor and not in her mouth? She liked it yesterday, but not today? We hear you, and understand your toddler’s food strikes and changing attitude towards foods can be frustrating, and maybe even sometimes a little worrisome.

Toddlers are notoriously known for asserting their independence at this early stage in their lives, which unfortunately makes them temperamental eaters too. Additionally, at around 2 years of age, they experience a decrease in growth velocity, which leads to a natural dip in their appetite.

Toddlers don’t actually need as much food as we often think. Remember that toddler portions are smaller than adult portions, so offering small portions at a time may be helpful. Based on Canada’s Food Guide, they should ideally be getting four servings of vegetables and fruits, three grains, two dairy and one meat or alternative per day. However, don’t focus too much on those numbers every day, but rather food patterns over a few days or weeks. As a parent, concentrate on offering a variety of quality foods and let your child choose the quantity. If your child is growing well, there is no reason to be concerned, however if you are concerned about your child’s growth, talk to your pediatrician about it.

Here are some tried and true meal ideas for toddlers that they might not throw on the floor!

Breakfast ideas

  • Oatmeal, made with whole milk and ground nuts (try topping with yogurt and/or applesauce)
  • Whole grain bread (cut into small cubes) with almond butter and jelly
  • Whole-grain oat “O”-shaped cereals

Lunch or dinner ideas

  • Fun shaped pasta with tomato sauce or plain pasta with cheese
  • Omelet prepared with some vegetables and cheese
  • Quesadilla with cheese and chicken

Healthy snacks

  • Cucumbers (mini or cut into circles or strips)
  • Green peas
  • Carrot sticks
  • Corn kernels
  • Watermelon
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes (cut in half)
  • Bananas
  • Rice biscuits or veggie puff snacks
  • Cheese sticks
  • Go & Grow by Similac™ Step 3 toddler drink