Tips to Help Your Toddler Eat Vegetables

  • Offer a variety of vegetables that your toddler likes, as well as adding new ones
  • Offer at least one vegetable at every main meal
  • It is OK if your toddler does not eat all of the vegetable or spits it out. The important thing is learning a new taste. Say, “That’s great! You tasted a new food! Maybe next time you will like it!”
  • Offer vegetables the first time without seasoning
  • Cut vegetables for the first time in fun shapes
  • Let your toddler help wash the vegetables
  • Steam or otherwise cook hard vegetables to avoid choking hazards

Finger Foods Will Delight Your Toddler

Your toddler will enjoy eating what the family is eating. Some parents welcome the time when their toddler is able to give up prepared baby foods. Below is a list of suggestions:

  • A variety of dry cereals that can be mixed in small containers
  • Pasta in a variety of shapes
  • Fruit cut in bite sized pieces that will prevent choking
  • Waffles, pancakes, toast
  • Cheese
  • Meat cut in small pieces
  • Hard boiled or scrambled eggs
  • Crackers
  • Goldfish crackers

The parent provides the morning snack and lunch and the afternoon snack. Every child should have an ice pack in the lunch box. Food items need to be labeled and dated with the child’s name. Please use a thermos for foods you want to be served warm. NO NUTS OF ANY KIND. We are a “NUT FREE” center.

The center provides milk for lunch and water for snacks. We have a policy of not serving juice unless it is due to a medical condition in which case a doctor’s note will be required.

Snack time is approximately 20 minutes and too much food and choice overwhelms your child and interrupts fun activities. (Please go to mypyramid.org for food and portion information.) Toddlers need to come to school with food cut up into 1/2″ square pieces, even if this is a difference practice than you do at home. The teachers often have eight children to feed at a time and it can be quite scary when they need to react to a child having difficulty swallowing. The preschool children are encouraged to open their snacks and lunches themselves and eat their healthy foods first. Please limit the desserts (no gum or candy) and try to eliminate as many prepackaged foods as possible. A basket containing napkins, plastic spoons, forks, cups, and a pair of scissors is at each lunch table.

Toddler parents are always asking for suggestions for food to pack. It is important to offer a nutritious variety of foods yet allowing the toddler to decide how much and what they will eat. Snacks could include various cheese cut into small pieces; fresh, frozen or canned fruit; applesauce; grapes which are cut in half, length wise; yogurt; toast; hard boiled eggs; and crunchy items such as, crackers, cereal, rice cakes, and granola bars. PLEASE NO popcorn, pretzels, nuts, raw peas, chunks of carrot or whole grapes, as well as whole or chunked hot dogs, which could be a potential for choking.

Our toddlers here at the Cornwall Child Center eat together and socialize through meal times. Quite a bit of learning takes place at the table as they watch everything and everyone! We want them to enjoy this learning experience with us, therefore, the teachers model appropriate eating habits too. Please send bibs and include some extras with the clothing which is kept at the center for your child.