Feeding in Toddlers – Dealing with Picky Eating

Toddler hood is a period characterized by many hours of play and discovery. It is, therefore, not surprising that your toddler will pay less attention to eating. He/she prefers to engage in play or any other activity other than eating. He/she is also bound to become picky when eating; avoidance of some foodstuff becomes very common.

Toddlers generally start finger eating on their own when they turn 9 months of age. They eventually develop the ability to use utensils when they are between 12-18 months of age. This is the right time to start introducing common solid foodstuff. Although your toddler may comfortably eat using a spoon or a folk, make it a point to provide the necessary assistance to ensure that he/she eats enough.

The point at which your toddler is most likely to become a picky eater is when you start introducing new foodstuff. His/her refusal to eat any newly introduced food does not mean that he/she does not like the food. It is as simple to being used to specific type of foodstuff. This is the reason why it is very important that you choose with care the type of solid foodstuff you start feeding your toddler on. A good way to do it is to introduce him/her to as many foodstuffs as possible instead of only a few.

The fact that toddlers are copycats makes it very easy to introduce new foodstuff that your toddler will most likely not reject. It does not work to simply prepare new food for the toddler while the rest eat a different type of food. Make it a point to buy enough of the food so that everyone in the family eats the same foodstuff. Your toddler will most likely eat simply because everyone is eating that same foodstuff. The following tips should be helpful just in case your toddler starts showing the tendency of preferring certain foodstuff over others;

  • Amount of food – It simply does not work to give your toddler a large amount of food to eat. Do not overestimate the amount of food your toddler is capable of eating. Consider giving your baby a couple of tablespoonfuls to start with without overwhelming him/her with a huge amount of food all at once. This particularly applies when you are introducing a new foodstuff.
  • Negotiation – You should never negotiate about eating at every meal time. This is a trap that most moms do get in. Make it a point to prepare nutritious food and ensure that your toddler has a bite.
  • Meal time – It simply does not work to have your toddler eat alone with other family members eating on their own. Allow your toddler to sit at the table with the rest of family members. This encourages them to eat as everyone else. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent or stop picky eating.

One thing you need to realize is that you need to feed your toddler frequently, which can be up to three or four times on any given day. This excludes light snacks between meals. It is always recommended that you do not allow your toddler to skip meals unless he/she is unwell or you are traveling.

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