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All About Toddler Nutrition

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What can a toddler eat? How much should my child eat? Am I giving my toddler enough fruits and vegetables? Is there a way to get my little one past this picky eating stage? Should I worry about food allergies? What type of chair, plate, spoon, and other gear do I need for toddler meal time?

Find answers to these and other common questions in this guide to toddler nutrition.

1. Getting Past the Fussy Food Stage

Toddler eating
Getty Images/Paul Burley Photography
It is very natural for young children to be demanding and resistant towards foods. Some of it is a power struggle, some of it is a need for security and routine, and some of it is completely inexplicable. Often, though, consistency, patience, and a positive atmosphere can go a long way to breaking children out of their picky eating habits.

2. Answers to Food Allergy Questions

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From eggs to wheat, peanut butter, to shellfish -- there is a lot of confusion and fear surrounding foods that are common allergens. Get the facts on when you can safely introduce these foods and what you need to know about food allergies in general.

3. All About Breastfeeding a Toddler

Want to get people fired up, talk about nursing a child after 12 months of age. Beyond the ridiculous controversy, get the facts about extended breastfeeding and how to wean a toddler when you and she are ready.

4. Understanding Serving Sizes

toddler eating pasta
James Woodson/Getty Images
Toddlers only need 1000 calories a day, so it's important to understand portion sizes and give them the right amount of milk, meat, fats, vegetables, and grains for their growing bodies.

5. Introducing a Spoon to a Toddler

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Moving from you feeding your child to letting your child feed herself is a big step. For one, you're giving her some more control. For another, you're inviting a whole lot of mess and ickiness into your life. But, of course, you should do it -- but when and how?

6. Introducing Finger Foods

toddler finger food
Alexandra Grablewski/Getty Images
Before your child's first birthday, she should be feeding herself some foods. These "finger foods" (since she'll probably use her hands and not a fork or spoon to eat them) should be soft and not pose any choking hazards. Get more tips and recipes about finger foods for older babies and toddlers.

7. Non-Dairy Ways to Get Enough Calcium, Vitamin D, and Fats

toddler and nuts
Per Breiehagen / Getty Images
For children who can't drink milk or moms who prefer not to serve it, providing enough calcium, vitamin D, and fats may seem like a challenge -- but you can do it by simply ensuring you include a variety of other foods in your child's diet.

8. Giving the High Chair the Heave-Ho

Summer Infant Take Two Booster
Pricegrabber
There are a variety of reasons why you may want to transition your toddler out of the high chair. Not least among these reasons is the fact that boosters can end meal time fussiness or tantrums by allowing your toddler to feel more independent and in control of his world.

9. Weaning a Toddler from the Bottle

toddler with bottle
Ron Levine / Getty Images
Helping your child give up the bottle now can make it easier for him to part with it without too much emotional drama. It can also help you ensure he is drinking and eating the right amounts for his age.

10. Recipe Books for Toddler Meals

cookbook for toddlers
Pricegrabber
Find ideas on how to make nutritiously dense meals that toddlers will love and your whole family can enjoy as well (so you don't fall into the trap of making different meals for everyone).
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