|Written by Taylor Blue|
| Toddlers never seem to make meal time easy. Here are some facts about toddler eating habits that may help you keep your sanity during this intense and confusing time of feeding your child. |
• Their eating habits change. This seems to be a change that happens on a daily basis. Sometimes he’ll eat like he has never seen food and then another time he won’t even touch food. Don’t worry about this it is perfectly normal. And one thing to note is that he won’t die of starvation because he’s not eating. He’ll eat when he feels like it.
• Teach them mealtime manners. Tell your toddler there’s nothing wrong with them playing with their food. But tossing or spitting food is undesirable. If he starts one of these actions, tell him firmly to stop. Explain to him that food belongs on his plate or in his mouth.
• Encourage your picky eater. Don’t give up hope. If he rejects a food the first time get it out of his sight and try again in a few days or weeks. Children’s tastes are always changing. They may need you to introduce the food a couple times before they will try it and like it.
• Vary the places and what you eat. Sometimes a change in pattern can help your child to eat. Try serving breakfast for supper and supper for breakfast.
• Try to balance your child’s request for a snack. If your meal is a number of hours away you can offer a bigger sized snack. But if the meal is sooner, then suggest a smaller snack. When handing him the smaller snack explain to him that it is almost time to eat.
• Give them choices on what they want to eat. It helps children to have some control over what is happening to them. Having a selection of food for them to choose from helps them figure out what they like and dislike. To support them in their search for choices it might help to put the food in the centre of the table where everyone else can have fun too. A good food for this would be tacos.
• Be aware of the amount of juice or milk your child drinks all day. If they won’t eat at meal-time it may be because they filled up on liquids earlier.
• Make food fun. Being creative goes a long way to a toddler. Some things you can do are: Serve chicken, tuna or egg salad in ice cream cones or serve them as a dip for crackers or vegetables. Make a necklace or bracelet out of Cheerio’s and dried fruit.
These should help you and your toddler. If you think your toddler is a fussy eater and you are getting worried please talk to your doctor. They can help reassure you and refer you to local resources.
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