How can I make sure my toddler has a healthy diet? Health & Development

iStock/Fertnig

Blonde toddler boy eating broccoli.
iStock/Fertnig
Toddlers can be notoriously picky -- and there are so many foods they tend to enjoy that simply aren't nutritious. See what an expert and other moms recommend for giving your kid healthy foods he'll love, and check out nutrition.gov for more tips on building well-balanced meals for your little one.

Keep Offering Variety

"Introduce variety early on. By doing this, your baby is more likely to develop a taste for all types of foods. This reduces picky eating as a toddler.  If your toddler is picky, you can reintroduce foods he doesn't like and offer no other alternative. Avoid letting him fill his belly with milk and juice, as that will reinforce the pickiness. Continue to offer the food until he eats it. Although he will try to win the battle, his hunger will take over and the food will be eaten." -- Jarret...

"Introduce variety early on. By doing this, your baby is more likely to develop a taste for all types of foods. This reduces picky eating as a toddler.  If your toddler is picky, you can reintroduce foods he doesn't like and offer no other alternative. Avoid letting him fill his belly with milk and juice, as that will reinforce the pickiness. Continue to offer the food until he eats it. Although he will try to win the battle, his hunger will take over and the food will be eaten." -- Jarret Patton, MD, founder of DoctorJarret PLLC, Reading, PA

Mix Fruits & Veggies into Meals

"Try putting sliced tomatoes or spinach leaves on his grilled cheese or serving it with some low-sodium tomato soup. For dinner, serve him what the family is eating. It is a good habit."

Make Healthy Foods for the Whole Family

"My girls are 19 months and still breastfed. They usually have fruit in the morning for breakfast and then whatever the rest of us are having for lunch and supper. Their tummies are still very small and they only need a little bit. I wouldn't worry about it so much!"

Vitamins May Help

"I give my toddler vitamins. Even with a healthy diet, it's difficult to be certain that kids are getting everything they need from diet alone -- and I don't want him to have deficiencies when he is still growing so fast."

Add a Little Flavor

"I sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on apple slices and my son eats them up. It's an easy way to add flavor to a nutritious snack!"

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.