• How to make a well-balanced meal for toddlers

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dinner can be a challenge for many parents of toddlers

    A new study finds that pressuring your picky eater to clean their plate may not be helping them long term.

    Novant Health pediatrician Dr. Rachael Fournet is a mom with two toddlers.

    She said that while you want your child to have a well-rounded diet with a lot of colors and nutrients, picky eating isn't unusual. It can be overcome, but you don't have to force it.

    She recommends letting them self-regulate just how much they eat and give them options, such as something they love, something they like and something for them to try.         

    Don’t be alarmed if they don't eat every bite.

    “It's now the parent's job to present the well-balanced meal and it's the kid's job to decide how much goes in their body,” Fournet said. “So if they choose to eat the whole plate, great, but I wouldn't reward it with dessert. Just let them self-regulate. They're actually really good at it.

    Experts recommend parents should keep trying to eat as a family as much as you can when things get tricky.

    Fight the urge to make a separate meal for them and always give them healthy options to choose from.

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