Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters.
One minute they’re devouring everything in sight, and the next they’re pushing away their plate in disgust.
As a result, many parents find themselves wondering what a toddler’s plate should actually look like.
After all, you want to make sure your little one is getting the nutrients they need to grow—but you also don’t want to end up in a battle over every meal.
Here’s a helpful guide to decoding your toddler’s Plate Expectations.
The Three Key Elements of a Toddler Plate
Just like adult plates, toddler plates should contain a variety of food groups.
A good rule of thumb is to include at least one item from each of the following food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and dairy.
Of course, it’s okay to mix and match—for example, you can serve diced chicken on top of a whole grain waffle or yogurt with berries mixed in.
The important thing is to provide your toddler with a variety of nutrient-rich foods so they can develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
As any parent knows, toddlers are attracted to colorful foods.
This is actually a good thing! Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
So when putting together your toddler’s plate, try to include items that span the entire rainbow.
Red grapes, green beans, yellow squash, orange carrots—the more color the better.
It’s no secret that toddlers often go through growth spurts which can cause their appetites to fluctuate wildly from day to day (or even meal to meal).
As a result, it can be hard to gauge how much food your little one will actually eat at any given time.
A good rule of thumb is to start with small portions and let your toddler ask for more if they’re still hungry.
This will help prevent wasted food and tantrums related to being either too full or too hungry.
When it comes to assembling the perfect toddler plate, there are three key elements to keep in mind: variety, color, and quantity.
By offering your little one a variety of nutrient-rich foods from each food group, you’ll ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need to grow—without having to fight over every mealtime battle.
And by making sure those foods are colorful and attractively presented, you’ll up the chances that your toddler will actually eat them!
Lastly, remember to start with small portions so you don’t end up wasting food or dealing with an unhappy kiddo who’s either too full or too hungry.
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We’ve collected a list of plates that are perfect for learning how to eat independently and are made with safe materials.
All you have to do is decide which one suits your needs best.
So don’t delay – let’s get dinner ready! Click the button now and see our top picks for great toddler plates.