Toddlers not eating properly can totally make parents go crazy. You’d never believe me if I told you that this has never been a topic for me to fuss about (and it shouldn’t be for you as well), but it’s true and I can prove it. It has been more than three years, I did not have to deal with a fussy eater (apart from the days when my champ is sick). So I often get asked about how I get my child to eat absolutely everything?? Well, the secret is….he doesn’t eat absolutely everything but comparatively, he is a happy eater and doesn’t make faces at foods I place in front of him. This leaves this mommy in peace. So here is this piece to assist the parents in preventing toddlers from becoming fussy eaters. Also, do not worry if you already have one. I am myself an example for the same. From a no spinach, no fenugreek person, I became someone who loves to experiment and enjoy the food every day.
So the real struggle starts when the child is of around 1-2 years. It’s this time when they learn to walk and do not want to sit in one place. They have a shorter attention span. They eat only when hungry and the other times they are busy exploring the world around. All these factors make the feeding time or the meal time difficult for mommies, isn’t it??. So here are a few tips to help you to prevent your child from becoming a fussy eater. But the important part is implementing. Go slow, it is not important to implement all of them together, if you really want happy eaters in the family.
Love your food :
As a parent, you need to have a positive approach to food as this is is what will pass down to your child. From a very young age, they can read the expression on our face so if you show displeasure they will pick up on it. Let the child know how the particular vegetable or fruit that you are feeding is good for your child. Involve them while you prepare their meals. It can be as simple as placing chopped pieces of fruits in their plate.
No to force-feeding :
Every child is different in terms of appetite as well. Serve smaller portions in smaller size plates than ours and try to understand the appetite of your children. This way you will be happy to know that they’ve eaten enough of everything and it’s ok to leave a small bit behind. Hunger is a great source and within they will eat when they are hungry.
Variety and Presentation:
Avoid giving your little one the same food over and over again because he or she likes it. Variety is the spice of life…not just for us but for our little ones too. adding subtle amounts of seasonings such as garlic, ginger, oregano, herbs, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and nutmeg to meals can give them a different taste every day to enjoy. And in today’s tech-savvy world we have a great tool to help us…INTERNET!! Serve your child the meals with your best smile ever.
It’s one thing that we always follow. We eat together. Avoid ‘let me feed the child first, I will have later theory’. Have your meals together. Let your child eat on his own (as much as he can). This eases things for you as well as the baby as you will be having your own food and not just concentrating on the baby to have his. For a child, you are his role model. Eating healthy meals with your baby also creates a good example for them. Stick to a routine as much as possible and of course without distractions like TV or phones.
Keep Calm, you are a mom:
Despite all your best efforts toddlers will still not eat sometimes. Try to serve a food that they love for their next meal or two. But yes, do not make this a habit. If the child is fussing about food, ignore. Giving this a lot of attention can sometimes encourage the child to keep behaving this way. Avoid meeting a child’s tantrum and do not prepare ten dishes for one meal. Stay calm and remember, hunger is a great source and the child will eat when they are hungry.