Toddlers are cute, adorable, naughty and moreover fussy eaters. They are so unpredictable about their eating habits that it can give you headache many times. So, is there nothing that can be done to solve this food fight? Ofcourse, there is lot that can be done to gain success in feeding your child well but first of all we need to understand the reason of refusal. Let’s try to find them out in below list and get a proper solution accordingly.
1. Picky-Eater. Have you seen your toddler being fond of few foods and he never ever wants to taste any other dish except that one kind of pancake or that one kind of soup? It’s very natural habit of toddlers to be picky and choosy for certain foods. They are really phobic to try any new taste. Sometimes because of colour, plate, cup or mood. It is really hard to guess the real reason for this habit but here is what you should do.
-Try new food items in a very small proportion and that too when they are full of energy. When they are excited and happy, they may give it a try.
-Never force feed new food. It will create a negative image for that food.
-Never try new food items when they are very tired.
-Involve them in preparation and let them feel interested.
-Never give up. Few kids need more trials than others and so there is always a room for hope. Be positive.How to cope up with fussy eaters?
2. Food fatigue. My 3 year old was so fond of kiwi fruit few days back and now for past 2 weeks she doesn’t want to taste even a bite of it. So for now I came up with two new seasonal fruits-mango and grapes. She is now in love with mangoes. Problem solved. Pediatricians say that this is very natural and can be happened because of teething, sudden illness recovery, weather change or just a change of heart for few days. It doesn’t mean that she will never eat those kiwis again. She just needs a break for few days. What can be done?
-Be flexible and offer them other healthy varieties.
-Don’t force food
-Don’t react as few toddlers just do that to grab your attention also. So, better be neutral.
3. Never hungry. The 2nd year of baby i.e. when it turns 1, many changes take place. You can see that weight gain is quite slow upto 1-2 kgs after one year. Also, they gain some height than before and hence, there is an effect on appetite also. This never means that they are not eating well. Nothing to worry about until their weight and height gain is normal according to your pediatrician. You may think that he is hungry but he is smart enough to feel the hunger and you should never pressurize to eat forcefully. Let him build his senses about need of food. If baby is clamping mouth shut and running away from food that surely indicates that he is not ready to eat. Solution?
-Do not insist many times. Try for once or twice and leave them for a while.
-Engage them with something creative or interesting
-Offer them variety of food in a plate. Let them try and pick.
-Accompany them while they eat. They are good imitators.
-Don’t make special food menu for them. Let them eat same food as yours together with family. It will encourage them to eat like others are doing. Also, it will induce table manners in them.
-Keep patience and don’t shout or get disheartened. It’s more than normal than you think.
How to convert normal food to healthy food?
4. Grazing toddler (Demands something to eat very often). You know it’s really healthy habit to feed them every 3 hours or so. You just need to keep few things in mind.
-Feed healthy snacks.
-Keep watch on nutrition value.
-Convert full time meal into mini meals. If they are not ready for chapatti, give them chapatti roll or roti noodles.
-Provide finger foods.
-Be flexible and serve them when they are hungry.
5. Throwing food. This is sometimes because of their rejection to food or sometimes they just find it playful. At any time if you see them throwing food, take the food away or ask them to go and play rather than sitting on dining chair. Tell them that they can sit on dining seat only when they are willing to eat. If they agree, give them the plate again. Gradually they will learn that throwing the food is not at all acceptable for any reason and they will also know that sitting on dining chair serves the purpose of eating the food. So, whenever they are hungry, they will come and sit by their own.
Knowing your toddler’s food struggle will help you to cope up with their problem but in any case you need to be patient and positive. Trust the fact that your kid knows his appetite and will eat only what he wants to eat. Don’t feel bad and just believe that this phase is temporary and will pass soon. Keep trying! Keep Feeding!![Also read Healthy and quick breakfast recipes for kids]