Developing self-feeding skills
Your toddler’s feeding skills are increasing, and she’s growing more independent at the table. You may even start to notice that your toddler has food preferences and will like to control more of what she eats.
Offer your toddler about three small meals and one to two snacks each day. But don’t expect her to follow this exact schedule. Help your little one develop a healthy relationship with food by offering healthy choices and letting her decide how much to eat. This teaches your toddler to respect her appetite and begin to understand her hunger and fullness cues.
Your 12-month-old needs about 900 calories each day. So don’t be surprised if her appetite is less robust now than it was during the first 12 months. Her rate of growth is slowing.
Around this time your toddler will be getting used to drinking from a cup and feeding herself with a spoon and her fingers. Encourage self-feeding by offering age-appropriate utensils and developmentally appropriate finger foods. As she learns to feed herself, it can be messy, so have fun with it!
When planning your toddler’s meals, she needs foods from the basic food groups listed below:
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs Good choices include easy-to-chew lean meats and poultry, GERBER® GRADUATES® LIL’ STICKS® meat or poultry sticks and cooked eggs.
Dairy products Good choices are cheese slices, milk, a GERBER® GRADUATES® SMART SIPS™ dairy beverage and yogurt products such as GERBER® GRADUATES® Yogurt Melts® snacks or GERBER® GRADUATES® Yogurt* Blends Snack.
Fruits and vegetables Good choices include GERBER® fruit and vegetable purees, GERBER® GRADUATES® fruit and vegetable dices, sliced banana and sliced strawberries.
Cereal grains, potatoes, rice, breads, pasta Good choices are whole-wheat toast, GERBER® Cereals, and whole-wheat pasta. GERBER® GRADUATES® meal and snack solutions are specially designed for your growing toddler. They’re made with ingredients toddlers need to help grow up healthy and strong. For example, a GERBER® GRADUATES® LIL’ ENTRÉES® selection contains one serving of vegetables.
If your toddler seems too busy or picky to eat, a toddler formula can provide extra nutrition insurance. GERBER® GOOD START® 2 formulas give your toddler iron, calcium, DHA and vitamin E.
To learn more, check out our Menu Planner.
*Pasteurized after culturing