Making a toddler to eat who is already fussy about eating is the most difficult task if not impossible. He may not like to eat what you have cooked for him or he may not want to eat at the time you want him to. He can also refuse to eat anything at all. This kind of behavior shows that he is enjoying his newly discovered independence.
So what should you do to feed your kid? Should you force him to eat or just let him do whatever he wants to do?
Both of these options are overruled.
As a mom of a fussy eater I have to be on my toes all the time. I have to have a lot of tricks up my sleeves to get my little one eat something. I just don’t want to feed her “something” but I want her to have a healthy and nutritious meals at proper timings. I also want her to help develop healthy eating habits that could last for the lifetime.
Am I asking too much?
Yes I am.
But all the parents want the same.
So what is wrong with it if I’m wanting it too?
There is nothing wrong about it
It cannot happen overnight.
Giving time is the key.
I’m going to share with you some ways that helped me to get my toddler eat.
Eat with your kids. I know this is difficult thing to do. Mothers are always busy. Try to time your eating times with your toddler. There are lots of things to do and eating with a toddler takes lot of time and patience.
But think of the relief you will feel when you know that your kid is playing with a full stomach. Full stomach also means that the toddler won’t be munching on salty chips or fast foods you want him to avoid eating.
Make a list of things your kid wants to eat. It could be anything like vegetable, fruits, biscuits or bread. Try to include at least one of his favorite dish into your weekly and monthly menu plan.
Variety and presentation of the food can also make a difference. I try to give different shapes to my parathas and roti. You can shape into square, triangle and circle. This will also teach your kid about the basic shapes.
You can try out different presentations of sandwiches and the food. For this you can use cookie cutters for this.
Make a routine. Kids are good to follow a routine. But if the kid is unable to follow the routine for any reason, don’t force it over the kid.
Forcing doesn’t help at all. It will make the kid loath the food and you will end up having a fussy eater who gets more and more picky with the food.
Like I said before, giving time is the key. Let them adjust to the routine slowly and gradually. The progress will be different for different kids due to individual differences.
Another important thing is for you as a parent to follow the routine and the kid will naturally follow the suit. Don’t expect your kid to do what you cannot do.
Involving the kid into preparing and then cooking the food will also do the trick. Don’t tell him off or stop from helping you in your kitchen activities.
Yesterday my toddler helped me de-string sweet pea pods(her favorite) and she was so happy when we are done. She told me, with a great sense of pride, that she helped me. And I thank her for the help.
Everyday when I’m in kitchen, she comes there and “help” me in one way or the other. Cooking with my toddler is a fun activity for me and my toddler both that we enjoy immensely.
At first I used to get irritated or angry as I didn’t want her to get hurt but that didn’t stop her. So I decided to toddler proof the kitchen. After that I let her come and work with me.
These are quite a few simple ways that can make your life easy and tension free. You’ll also be able to help your toddler have a positive attitude towards eating habits that could hopefully last a lifetime.
Please share your feedback through comments.