Feeding Your 3-Year-Old
Three-year-olds are busy and have their own ideas about food and eating. They need you to set limits on what they can and cannot do. At the same time, you need to be flexible. It’s not an easy job. Three-year-olds are growing slowly. They may not need as much food as you think they do. They may be picky eaters or refuse to eat. This is very normal at this age.
Your Job and Your Child’s Job
Sometimes it helps to remember what your job is and what your child’s job is when it comes to eating. Your job is to give your child a good variety of healthy foods at regular meals and snacks. Limit junk foods such as candy, chips and soft drinks. Your child’s job is to decide what and how much to eat. Your child’s appetite will change from day to day and this may worry you. But just make sure you are giving the right foods for your child to choose from. Don’t force your child to eat.
- Cut meat in small pieces. Mix it with other foods.
- Give small servings of chicken, turkey, beans, eggs or cheese.
- Peanut butter is also a good food instead of meat. Mix it with a little water or milk to make it easier to eat.
- Choking can be a problem. Make your child sit down to eat.
- Don’t give hard, round foods such as hard candy, popcorn, or grapes.
- Cut round foods into small pieces.
- “Food jags” are when a child wants the same food over and over again. If it is a healthy food, don’t worry. This stage will pass. If it is a junk food, stop buying it or keep it out of sight or reach.
- When your child is thirsty, give her water.
- Milk is still important. Give milk with meals. If your child wants to just drink and not eat, give milk after the meal.
Rice and Pasta
||1/2 Slice or 1/4 Cup|
||1/4 Cup Cooked; 1/2 Cup Raw|
||1/4 Cup Cooked: 1/2 Cup Raw|
||1/2 Cup; 3/4 Ounce Cheese|
Fish and Dry Beans
||1 Tablespoon; 1 Egg;|
1/2 Cup Cooked Beans and Eggs
This page last updated on 3/04/08.