Feeding your toddler can be tricky sometimes. On good days, they eat what you prepare and finish all their meals. On bad days, they kick up a fuss and refuse to eat. But don’t worry, because it’s normal for young children to be picky with their food.
Here are some things that you may consider doing if you find yourself having a hard time feeding your little one.
- Is your child sick?
You should check if your child is not feeling well. Ask your child if he feels unwell anywhere. Perhaps he has a sore throat, mouth ulcer or he has a flu. It is common that your child will not have an appetite when he is sick. If your child has a sore throat or an ulcer, he will be reluctant to open his mouth to avoid the pain. In this case, you should prepare soft food such as porridge or soup that will make it easier for him to eat.
- Avoid snacks close to meal times
Refrain from giving your child snacks close to their meal times. This will make them feel full and they will be more likely to want to skip proper meals. If the next meal is several hours away, it is okay to offer them a snack such as fruits or biscuits. However, if the next meal is in an hour’s time, refrain from offering them snacks. By doing this, your child will be more likely to eat his full meals.
- Be patient
It is normal for toddlers to be fussy with their food. This is especially so when you serve your child new food that he is not familiar with. In this case, slowly introduce new food by mixing it into food that he likes to eat. This will ease your child into become more comfortable with this new type of food.
- Make it fun!
Cut your food up into star shapes, squares and circles…Be creative! By displaying the food in a fun manner, your child will be more inclined to enjoy eating their food.
- Establish a routine
Set regular meal times (for example, 12pm: lunch time, 3pm: snack time, 6pm: dinner time). Come up with habits like washing their hands and sitting down at the dining table together before they can start eating. By establishing the same routine every day, your children know what to expect and this makes meal times a lot easier for you.
You may want to increase your child's daily activity. Physical activity is not only good for health. By having more exercise, your child uses more energy and thus feels hungry more easily. When they are hungry, they naturally want to eat.
- Don’t worry!
When your child is hungry, he will request for food. What you need to ensure is that he is getting a large variety of nutrients necessary for his physical and intellectual development.