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Toddler Nutrition

Toddler Nutrition


The toddler (ages 1 to 3 years) phase can often be challenging when it comes to feeding. Several developmental changes occur at this time. Toddlers are striving for independence and control. Their growth rate slows down and with this comes a decrease in appetite. These changes can make meal time difficult. It is important for parents to provide structure and set limits for the toddler.

The following are suggestions to help manage mealtimes so that the toddler gets the nutrition he/she needs:

  • Avoid battles over food and meals.
  • Provide regular meals and snacks.
  • Be flexible with food acceptance as toddlers are often afraid of new things.
  • Be realistic about food amounts. Portion size should be about one-fourth the size of an adult portion.
  • Limit juice intake to about 4 to 6 ounces per day.
  • Dessert should not be used as a reward. Try serving it with the rest of the food.
  • Make the food easy for your toddler to eat:
    • Cut food into bite-sized pieces.
    • Make some foods soft and moist.
    • Serve foods near room temperature.
    • Use ground meat instead of steak or chops.
    • Use a child-sized spoon and fork with dull prongs.
    • Seat your child at a comfortable height in a secure chair.
  • Prevent choking by:
    • slowly adding more difficult-to-chew foods.
    • avoiding foods that are hard to chew and/or swallow such as nuts, raw carrots, gum drops, jelly beans, and peanut butter (by itself).
    • modifying high-risk foods: cut hot dogs in quarters, cut grapes in quarters, and cook carrots until soft.
    • always supervising your child when he/she is eating.
    • keeping your child seated while eating.

Healthy food choices


The food guide pyramid is a guideline to help you and your child eat a healthy diet. The food guide pyramid can help you and your child eat a variety of foods while encouraging the right amount of calories and fat. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services have prepared the food guide pyramid to guide parents in selecting foods for children 2 to 6 years of age. Choose the proper number of servings from each food group for your child each day.

Contact Information


Driscoll Children's Hospital
3533 S. Alameda Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

(361) 694-5000
(800) DCH-LOVE or (800) 324-5683


For TTY Deaf Messaging Connect to TTY Interpretation by dialing
(800) 735-2989

Patients & Families

News

Driscoll's Teddy Bear Hospital is a chance for patients to be the doctors

April 08, 2014
WHAT: Patients will be the doctors tomorrow during a Teddy Bear Hospital organized by the Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital. The event allows children to become more familiar with the medical equipment and procedures involved in their treatment. They'll choose their teddy bear, give it a...
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April is Child Safety Month

April 01, 2014
Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program team
CORPUS CHRISTI - Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age one through 12 years old. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data, in 2010 almost an average of two children were killed and 325 were injured each day. This fatality rate could be reduced...
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Driscoll patients go to Spurs game courtesy of generous donors

March 28, 2014
WHAT: Five Driscoll Children's Hospital patients and their parents or guardians will gather at the hospital's lobby and depart for San Antonio to see a Spurs game as part of a live auction package purchased at this year's Fiesta de los Niños. Steve and Jessica Johnson of JSJ Services, Inc. have purchased this item...
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Driscoll patients to be treated to Child Life Month celebration

March 10, 2014
March is Child Life Month
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital will celebrate Child Life Month with a superhero-themed party for in-house patients tomorrow. The sixth annual event is designed to make hospitalization a little more pleasant for children by providing a distraction from their illness and an opportunity...
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12th annual Radiothon will broadcast live from Driscoll Children's Hospital

March 05, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Friday, March 7, K-99 (KRYS 99.1 FM) will team up with Driscoll Children's Hospital for the 12th annual Radiothon. The one-day event will be broadcasted live from the main lobby at Driscoll Children's Hospital beginning at 6 a.m. Listeners can tune in to hear patients, parents, physicians and staff share inspirational...
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