Your toddler could be a fussy eater and refuse to try a new food. More or less half of all toddlers fit this attitude, so it’s no wonder that food matters are source of worries for parents. Setting up healthy patterns of eating is very important to avoid problems like eating disorders and obesity later in life. Different strategies could help your child take a wider choice of foods. It can be necessary to give a food to your toddler as many as ten different times before they want to eat it. The problem is that lots of parents get discouraged and give up before the 4th or 5th try.
Here are tips you can do to get your toddler eat their foods.
1. Make the food you serve look interesting.
Try to make foods fun by including some differently colored foods on his plate. Colorful foods like raisins, carrot sticks, apples, cheese sticks, grapes, and crackers can all be fun and healthy foods for your toddler. Let them put in their minds that eating good food is important so they will grow strong and big, and how these foods will help them play longer and run faster.
2. Be a good role model.
If you are a fussy eater then your child can be a fussy eater as well. Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you limit yourself to narrow food choices, your child can mimic your actions and behaviors. Do not limit his/her food selection to only those foods you want. Your child’s tastes are different with yours, and maybe you are just giving them foods they don’t like. Try to be a good example and consider a variety of foods in front of him/her. It could motivate him/her to do the same.
3. Prepare the meal with your child.
Your child will be more likely to eat food he has helped to make.
4. Encourage self-feeding from a young age.
If your child is actively involved in eating rather than just sitting and receiving food from you, you can encourage your child to take an interest in the food being offered.
5. Find alternative food your child will eat from each food group.
If he/she does not like milk, try giving cheese or yogurt.
6. Ensure that your expectations are attainable.
Your child is not like you and you cannot expect him/her to eat like you.
7. Serve child size food.
Your child can ask for a second round! Generally give 3 small meals each day with a snack between those meals.
Try not to worry much, and keep in mind that unless a child is sick, they’ll eat. Children are good at judging their fullness and hunger signals. Stay relaxed during meal time and offer him/her a wide selection of foods, and most of all, remember to show a good example by trying a wide selection of foods yourself. You might find out you and your toddler share a new discovered favorite food!
By: Lara Nadezda
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