As your toddler drops naps and gets more of an appetite for solids, your daily routine will start to change. So how do you plan his day around his meals and snacks?
As you enter the toddler stage, you’ll notice your child’s eating and sleeping habits changing. Some children will still be having two daytime sleeps, whereas others will have dropped down to one. Whenever he sleeps, a good mealtime routine will help give order to your day: children don’t eat well if they’re tired, or sleep well if they’re hungry. Keep in mind that you’re aiming to fit three meals, along with two or three snacks, around your toddler’s sleep routine. Try to avoid grazing: if your toddler is constantly snacking, he won’t want to eat their meals, making mealtimes stressful for you both. Remember that toddlers should be getting most of their nutrients from solid food at this stage, so also watch how much milk he’s drinking. If he loves his milk, offer it after a meal, so that he doesn’t fill up before eating his solids. Try to give him small (3-4oz) cups of milk, rather than great big bottles full. Too many sweet drinks can fill him up too, so stick mainly to water, along with the odd diluted fruit juice drink with a meal.If your toddler doesn’t eat well at one meal, try to resist offering anything else until it’s time for his next snack or meal. It’ll throw his routine off course and leave him too full up to eat his next meal, and you’ll end up with a cycle that’s hard to break.
7am: BreakfastCereal with milkCup of milk or diluted juice9.30am: Snack and drink of water10.30am: Sleep (around 45 minutes)12 noon: LunchTwo courses, savoury and sweetCup of water2pm: Nap (around 90 minutes)4pm: Snack and cup of milk6pm: TeaSavoury course, puddingCup of water7pm: Bath and wind-down routineCup of milk if wanted7.30pm: Bedtime
7am: BreakfastCereal and milk Cup of milk or diluted juice9.30am: Snack and drink of water12 noon: LunchSavoury and sweet courseCup of water12.30pm: Nap (around two hours)3pm: Snack and cup of milk5pm: TeaSavoury course, pudding Cup of water6.30pm: Bath and wind-down routine7pm: BedtimeCup of milk if wantedAll children are different, and this information is only intended as a guide, which may vary according to both sleep and eating patterns. If you have any concerns about your toddler’s development or diet, please consult your health visitor or doctor.
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