Most parents dread feeding their toddler. Why? Because it’s an activity that most often than not leads to crying and throwing tantrums by your toddler, while on the other hand you are upset and at the end of your patience.
Parents often dwell on the fact that their infants ate just about everything without giving them much trouble while they were infants. However, as they enter toddlerhood, the same children are reluctant to eat what they were eating easily earlier. However, it’s a common problem and nothing that can’t be taken care of with some patience and understanding.
Keep on reading to know how you can feed your fussy toddler with minimum of fuss:
Be calm and stay positive while feeding your toddler. Make appropriate positive comments about foods such as, “Wow, these are so yummy!” or “See this orange carrot is looking so pretty!” Compliment your toddler when he eats well. This will encourage him to appreciate mealtimes with you.
Respect your Toddler’s Decision
If your toddler shakes his head or says that he doesn’t want to eat more. Stop feeding him. After a few minutes, try once more. If the answer stays the same, feed him no more. Babies never go hungry; they usually know how much to eat and when to stop. So don’t force-feed your baby.
Count Collective Meals
There are days when your toddler refuses to eat just about anything, even the foods he generally likes. Fret not and be calm. On those bad days, try to overlook what your toddler didn’t eat in a single meal or over a single day. Instead count the meals that your child has had over the week. In addition, instead of junk and sweets, try giving him nutritious food, that way you will feel less guilty when he skips meals.
Make Mealtimes Relaxed and Fun
The mealtime for your toddler should be relaxed.
- Don’t yell at him if he touches food, spills food or refuses to eat. This will only put him off eating. If your toddler realizes that mealtime is fun, he will start appreciating eating too.
- Make sure there are no distractions such as the TV, toys or people conversing with each other. With distractions around, your toddler will not concentrate on eating.
- Kids also appreciate stories around food.
- Toddlers like to make a mess and simultaneously feed themselves. Allow your toddler to handle and touch his food, play with it and make a mess. Chances are that food will end up in his tummy.
Feed your Toddler When Hungry
A child, if not hungry, will be less interested in eating. No wonder he throws tantrums. Make sure your child doesn’t graze around mealtimes and engages in enough physical activity. This will surely make your child hungry enough to not say no to a meal. Check how much milk does your toddler drink in a day. Doctors usually recommend dairy products equivalent to 500 ml of milk per day. If your child consumes more than that, he is bound to be fussy during mealtimes.
Give Small Portions
Heaping your toddler’s plate with food might put him completely off. Give your toddler small portions of food only. This might interest him in eating.
Finally, remember, it’s a phase and it shall too pass. With these tips, ensure that your toddler gets optimum nutrition from all kinds of food groups and starts looking forward to mealtimes.