Home => How To Feed Children => Child Development - Ages and Stages => 11 to 36 Months: Feeding Your Toddler
Your toddler eats best when you give her both clear leadership and a sense of control. Get started with family meals, if you aren't having them already. Give leadership by offering foods you choose, at sit-down meals and snacks, at regular and reliable times. At meals and snacks let her decide how much and even whether she eats from foods you have put on the table. Keep yourself comfortable by understanding her normal eating behavior. You are following a division of responsibility in feeding.
The toddler is at high risk for learning to use food for emotional reasons. Toddlers are active, unceasing in their demands and prone to get upset. It is tempting to give food to quell the riot. Don't. Instead, stick to scheduled feedings and sort out whether your child is hungry or sad, full or tired. Give attention, hugs or naps.
For more about feeding your toddler (and for research backing up this advice), see Ellyn Satter's
Ellyn Satter's Child of Mine; Feeding with Love and Good Sense,
Bull Publishing, 2000. Also see
to purchase books and to review comprehensive educational materials that teach stage-related feeding and solve feeding problems.
See also: Division of Responsibility in Feeding and Division of Responsibility in Activity
Copyright © 2012 by Ellyn Satter. Published at www.EllynSatter.com.
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