I’ve had my fair share of dealing with a fussy eating toddler. It’s common for children from the age of one to start getting very selective and picky with food.
One day they like something, then the next they are throwing it on the floor and against the wall the minute you hand it to them.
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How to get a fussy toddler to eat
This is a common question amongst parents who try to give children a healthy balanced diet. Here are 5 tips to help your toddler to eat better.
1. Try to keep a routine with meal and snack times. Having a routine will mean that your toddler will naturally want to eat at certain times of the day.
2. One thing that I have found helpful is not offering milk soon before eating. In fact, I would argue that giving a toddler any drinks just before meal time can suppress their hunger. Now I don’t mean that you should let your child go thirsty but just don’t give them lots to drink before meal time.
3. Babies gain more independence from around the age of one and it’s common for them to want feed themselves. Try your best to let your toddler to be in control as this can make them feel better about eating.
4. If your toddler is teething then this can make them not want to eat for a few days. If you suspect that your toddler is teething, try giving them soft and/or cold foods such as yoghurts, pureed fruit or blended food.
5. Try to give your toddler different choices of foods and they will find the foods that they like.
How to encourage a toddler to eat vegetables
This is yet another common question with parents. Let’s be honest, vegetables aren’t the most popular food amongst young children but that shouldn’t stop parents from encouraging healthy eating.
Here are 4 tips for encouraging your toddler to eat vegetables
1. Serve your toddler a variety vegetables but don’t force them to eat as this can put them off even more. Also, try serving the vegetables before other foods or with foods that they like.
2. Try the vegetables with different recipes as the chances are they will likely find some recipes they prefer to others.
3. Children learn by example so let them see you eating vegetables. Act as though they are appetising and exciting to eat. Give a smile and rub your stomach to show how tasty they are while saying “hmmmm”.
4. If the above fails and your toddler still refuses to even touch a vegetable, try including vegetables in cooked meals but just cut them up small so it’s not so obvious to them that they are there.
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When to be concerned about your child’s eating
The NHS advises that if your child is active, putting on weight and they appear well and healthy then you shouldn’t be concerned. If you are worried then speak to your child’s doctor.
Also, you should give your child food from the 4 main food groups to aim for a balanced diet. These food groups are fruit/vegetables, carbohydrates, milk/dairy and protein.
I hope these tips help you to feel more confident in feeding your fussy eating toddler. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any other tips to help parents who are struggling to feed their fussy eating toddlers.