Children love feeding themselves. It gives them a sense of independence and helps them learn when they are full. Young children should eat a variety of foods to get the nutrients they need. Some healthful finger foods toddlers can feed themselves include:
- A baked potato cut in strips and dipped in low-fat ranch dressing
- Grilled chicken cut into strips with honey mustard sauce
- A bagel topped with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese, toasted and sliced into strips
- Graham crackers dipped in applesauce
- Wedges of peeled apple, peach or pear with a yogurt dip.
Children also need plenty of time to eat. Don't force them to eat as fast as you might. Let them eat slowly, savor what they eat and learn when they are full.
Learning to make healthful eating choices and how to judge proper portions occurs very early in life.