How much food should my toddler be eating at each meal?
This will vary from toddler to toddler and from day to day. The amount offered should be gradually increased. You will get to know the amount your toddler will eat. You will know that it is enough, if he is growing normally. If his weight is falling off a centile line you should talk to your paediatrician or health visitor to make sure that he is eating the right balance of foods. In general, meals should be about one third starchy carbohydrate (e.g. bread, pasta, potato or rice), one third fruit and vegetables and one third meat, fish or pulses. At this stage he should be offered a savoury main course and a pudding which could be fruit, yoghurt or a milk pudding.
Should my child be given fruit juice at mealtimes?
Well-diluted juices are not a problem, and many babies will benefit from vitamin-rich fruit drinks. For example, vitamin C aids the absorption of iron. However, there is a risk that your baby could be filling up on drinks and reducing the amount of more nutritious foods that they take. You could alternate between giving a small glass of water with meals and giving a small glass of well diluted fruit juice.
My toddler won't eat vegetables. What can I do?
Your attitude to food is crucial as your toddler will soon pick up your likes and dislikes and may imitate them. So make sure the rest of the family is eating lots of vegetables too. It is important to remember that as long as your child is consuming a good range of nutrients and getting them from somewhere in the diet, occasional objections are not that important. Patient persistence is the key, and if a vegetable is rejected once, don't think they will never eat it, but continue to offer it again without making any fuss about it. If a child realizes that by not eating a food he can get lots of attention he is likely to repeat the behavior in the hope of more attention. Try to praise him when he does eat some vegetable - it can be very effective. He may also be getting more vegetables than you think when you count the vegetables that he will get like tomato or onions in the dishes you prepare.