Is your toddler declaring war on food?! Refusing to eat meals that only a few weeks ago, loved? Only eating certain types of food? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! It seems that most children go through this feisty stage at one point in their young lives. Being a toddler is when they start to demonstrate their independence!
There are some things to consider:
- It’s quite normal for a toddler not to have a large appetite, in fact, it is normal for them to have really only one main meal a day. The portion size should be about the size of her fist. If she’s having a bottle in the morning and evening, she’s probably not hungry at all for several big meals during the day. Maybe spilt one bottle serving between am and pm.
- At the weekends, turn meal times into fun, distract her. Have dinner out in the garden or in a playhouse.
- Children are very sensitive to emotions, so she is probably picking up on your frustration, which will probably make her dig her heels in more.
- Concentrate on the foods she is eating and encourage her. Try different types of fruit and try and sneak some mashed vegetables into her pasta. Children love interesting shapes and colours.
- Make bite size portions of fruits and vegetables so she can pick them up herself and eat them as finger food…she’s feeding herself….very independent! Just ensure that the vegetables are par boiled so they aren’t a choking hazard.
- Children often mimic their parents, so if you are excited about a new dinner or food, you should get her excited about it too, she won’t want to miss out on the fun!
- Get her involved in preparing the meal, that will give her a real sense of achievement.
- You are in charge. It is a struggle for control which you can win, but by being clever about it…or sneaky!