Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, but they also need plenty of calories to grow and keep up their busy pace. Feeding a toddler a reasonably healthy diet is mostly a matter of having the right foods on hand and being prepared when the moment is right. Making a feeding plan for a toddler helps maintain this routine consistently, especially if your toddler is fed by more than one adult.
Make a list of all the foods your toddler has shown an interest in. If any of them seem particularly unhealthy, consider trying a healthier alternative--for example, graham crackers instead of cookies.
Keep as many of these foods on hand as possible. Since young tastes change constantly, make a feeding plan for a toddler that accommodates these fluctuations. If you can't keep all of his favorites around for financial reasons or because they spoil too quickly, choose a few different options from the list every time you go shopping.
Cook your toddler's favorites and keep them on hand. For example, make some macaroni and cheese and refrigerate it, reheating and serving a little of it whenever you prepare a meal.
Offer a variety of options at meals. Make a plate for your toddler with small portions of several different foods whenever possible. Include at least a couple of popular favorites, but also offer whatever you are eating or any other healthy options you have on hand.
Save the plate and the food on it, unless there's anything that will spoil or go stale very quickly. Using the same plate for several feedings is convenient and minimizes wasted food. If the most popular foods have already been eaten, replace them or add some more options.
Offer healthy snacks or meals whenever your toddler seems hungry. Little kids have tiny stomachs and appetites, so make a feeding plan for a toddler than incorporates his need to eat more frequently than an adult.
Model healthy eating and keep offering (but not forcing) healthy options. While toddlers may go on cookie binges, they'll generally snap out of it soon if they like the other foods on the plate, too.
Keep a special cup full of water for your toddler and offer it often, even if she drinks juice or milk as well.