Written By :

December 27, 2022


Mothers, are you confused with what you should feed your toddler or preschooler? Have you heard that some foods are better to be avoided? There are a lot of questions that surface mothers’ mind when they think about nutrition.

This blog aims to explain the importance of nutrition, the development of feeding skills, the feeding behavior of your toddler/preschooler, what foods to avoid, physical activity, how to encourage good eating habits, and how to deal with picky eaters. 

You have heard from your family, friend or pediatric doctor that nutrition is important to stay healthy and promote growth for your toddler/preschooler.

Why is nutrition important?

Starting with Toddlers

Development of feeding skills for Toddlers?

With time, they will become more independent and they will practice self-feeding:

What are the feeding behavior of toddlers?

What are Toddler size portions?

Toddler Snack?

What food to provide?







This is “My Plate” using the provided food in one plate (You can download this picture and ask your son/daughter to color it or write the food they believe fits in the category!! For example, in Fruits, what might belong there: “Apple, Lettuce, Milk??”


Starting age one, your son/daughter can have honey. Before 1 year of age, honey should NOT be given.

What Foods to avoid?


Recognize the cues that your child is full, such cues are:

Each child is different by expressing, but those are some examples.

Physical Activity

 Children under the age of 2 years should not have screen time, achieve approximately 60 minutes per day of play time and exercise.

Ideas for toddler’s safe movement:

Those activities will allow the toddler to practice gross motor skills by feeling the puzzle pieces or the grass on the ground.

Continuing with Preschooler

The development of feeding skills in preschool age children?

What Foods should I focus on?

5 food groups

Grain Group:

If your son/daughter ate less or more, it is fine. They know when they are full.

Vegetables Group:

Fruits Group:

Dairy Group:

Protein Group: 

Fat will be provided through cooking or  adding it to food (For example, olive oil on yogurt) 

How to feed a preschooler? 

Avoid food that might cause chocking such as a popcorn, grapes, tomatoes. You can give your preschooler cut grapes and cut tomatoes, always provide the food into small pieces, in order to facilitate the swallowing process.

Also to avoid chocking, always have your preschooler sitting at a table while eating.

Feeding behavior of preschool age children?

Strategies to encourage good eating habits and monitor food intake

Healthy eating for preschoolers

Model healthy behaviors

Preschoolers will copy what you as parents do at the table. If you eat your healthy vegetables, they will eat their too.

Think about the drinks

Sugar-sweetened drinks (for example pepsi) are sources of added sugar and are high in calories. Drinks such as water and milk are better for children.

If you drink pepsi during mealtime, they will ask for a cup.

Offer Choices

Preschoolers as adults like to decide what they want to eat. You can ask your child “Would you like an apple or pear?” In this way, you are still providing a healthy fruit, however you give them the impression that they are making a decision of what to eat.

Physical Activity

60 minutes or more of physical activity is recommended daily for children.

Aerobic exercise which means running, hopping, skipping, jumping rope, bicycling, dancing. Muscle strengthening which is playing on the playground equipment, playing tug of war.

Try to limit the time you set for your child on screen time to encourage them to go outside and play.

Common Questions and Concerns

Picky Eaters

Food Safety

Should I give my toddler/preschooler juice?

A lot of opinions have been circling this topic, the issue with fruit juice (even if its fresh) is that it contains sugar (natural) and it does not contain fiber.

Your toddler/preschool doesn’t need sugar but they need fiber.

If they would like to drink fresh squeezed orange juice, limit their intake to ½ cup per day.

What are unhealthy drinks that I should avoid?

There are a lot of drinks to be avoided such as soft drinks, sports drinks, tea, coffee.​

Artificial sweeteners?

How to properly communicate?

Check this link for examples: Help and Hinder Phrases

Activities to increase interest in food based on age

Check this link for ideas on how your son/daughter can help you in the kitchen:
Kitchen Helper Activities

Here are 4 nice activities you can download and enjoy with your son/daughter

Game 1: This activity is a Maze Game, where your son/daughter will come across different food groups along the way, by playing this game, you can discuss the food you find before crossing the finish line.

Game 2: This activity is about fruits and vegetables. Your son/daughter will need to differentiate between fruits and vegetables.

Game 3: This activity is about grains and dairy, the game is to decide which food belongs to grains category and which belongs to dairy category.

Game 4: This activity is about proteins, remember protein sources are animal and plant food.

Key Message

By this blog, you should be able to create a healthy plate for your son/daughter. Incorporating the 5 food groups to ensure optimal growth. Remember, you are only human, no one is asking you to be perfect, mistakes are not inevitable.

Written By :

December 27, 2022