Toddlers are children between ages 13months to 35months. The word toddler is coined from the word ‘toddle’ which means to walk unsteadily. During the first year of this period (13months – 24months of age), the rate of growth slows considerably, this is in contrast to the rapid growth resulting in the tripling of birth weight that happens in the first 12months of life (0 – 12months) of life, it is between 24months and 35 months (2-3years), that the birth weight quadruples. For example, if your child’s weight is 3kg at birth, you can expect the weight to increase to 9kg at 1year of age, and then increase to 12kg at 3years of age.
It is during the period your child takes the first walking step, smile often, wave easily to people, develop a mind of his own, recognize himself in pictures, do what you do and learn to form and speak phrases that you say to him! – This is a developmental period that usually gladdens parents’ heart
During this period, your child also forms food habits!!! This is the time to discourage unacceptable behavior, such as standing at the table or throwing food, by being consistent and firm but not punitive. Allow your child to explore and enjoy food, make food appealing to them.
When your child rejects food, repeat the same food next time and add a different but enticing touch to it. Also allow your child choose which food and how much he will eat. Gradually, he will get used to taste of different foods. Do not forget to start teaching your child good eating habits and acting it out yourself! Your child will definitely eat what he sees you eat. Limit sweets and food high in fats when eating, this is because infants and children have little rooms for such foods in their daily energy allowance.
Develop good food habits yourself, teach good food choices to your growing child and watch him grow healthy!