Looking after a little one.
The toddler stage is a critical time for your child to grow at a healthy rate leading up to going to school full-time. That’s why South Dakota WIC encourages mothers of children up to the age of five to make good food decisions.
As a caregiver, how do you decide which foods to provide for them? A health professional at the WIC office can help you determine what your child needs on an individual level. You can also find information on the individualized needs of your child – such as amounts of each food group and appropriate serving sizes – online at choosemyplate.gov.
Keep the following guidelines in mind when feeding your toddler:
- Toddlers pick up on your behaviors – teach them good eating habits by making good food decisions for yourself
- Make sure they’re getting the appropriate daily intakes of healthy foods – feed them fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and grains, but avoid foods that are overly processed or have added sugar or excessive salt
- Your toddler should drink plenty of water – bottled juice is actually very sugary, and kids don’t need more than half a cup a day
- Choose healthy iron-rich foods such as meat, beans, and iron-fortifed cereals – drinking too much milk can lower how much iron your body can absorb from your food so make sure to limit milk to about 2 cups a day.
Remember: The nutrition decisions you make during toddlerhood will affect your child once he or she heads to school – feed smart!
For more information on feeding your child a healthy diet, contact your local WIC office to speak with a health professional.