Food is a new experience for all toddlers. You cannot expect them to quickly adjust to various foods that you give. Truth is to get them used to new foods you give every day, time is needed. It’s normal if you find your toddler to be a picky eater. For toddlers, foods have various tastes, textures and colors. So, they tend to reject certain foods especially foods they are not familiar yet. In fact, it’s possible for your toddlers to reject eating foods that they liked just the day before.
This normal thing can actually be explained. Before they grow becomes toddler, they were babies. And, baby grows very fast. It explains why most babies have good appetite. They drink a lot of milk and eat a lot of food you prepare for them. But then they become toddler that don’t grow as much as babies in the first year. This causes them to naturally require less nutrition requirements. That’s why your toddler is getting less interested in food including a food that they craved a lot before.
As you toddlers grow older, they are also learning to make a decision of what they like and do not and to show it to their parents. It’s doesn’t always mean they are picky eater. Making their own choice is actually something that you should respect because it teaches them to be more independent.
So, for toddlers, to measure the amount of nutrition they eat, you have to measure it in a week-length instead of a day-length. If in a week, they get ideal amounts of nutrition, there is nothing for you to worry. But, if nutrition is less than ideal, you need to change your strategy. Perhaps, your toddler’s problem in picking food is worse than normal. You should do something necessary to not letting them growing to be a picky eater as they get older.
Tips To Introduce New Food
As your toddlers do not have a sense of how much food they need to stay healthy and grow optimally, you have the duty to provide lots of foods. Create a positive experience every time you introduce new food. This way, at least they will not learn to hate it. But whether they like it or not, it’s their choice. Try these tips at home to handle a picky eater.
• Schedule your toddlers’ meal plan into a 3-time meals every deal. You can also add two times of healthy snacking between the meals. According to the doctors’, most picky eaters are actually grazers where they tend to eat smaller amount of food in more frequencies. So, healthy snacking will help them to get ideal nutrition.
• Prepare various foods for toddler is the next most effective tip for picky eater. Toddlers are actually willing to try any kinds of foods you offer. They have big curiosity. By introducing many kinds of foods, they can experience various tastes and textures. And, they will get used to any tastes and textures. However, make sure the food is appropriate and healthy.
• Introduce several new foods at a time. Avoid serving them a pack of unfamiliar foods because it can make them unwilling to have a taste of it. For instance, add one new vegetable when you cook their favorite sandwich.
• Serve new food between the meals when you know they are hungry. For instance, instead of giving them cookies for snacking, giving slices of tropical fruits is a good strategy. This way, they will tend to eat the foods you give because they are hungry and need to eat.
• The next tip to handle picky eater is to give food in toddler-size portion. Avoid giving them adult-size portion of food. This will keep them full all day long and you’ll have more chances to introduce new foods.
• Be more understanding of your toddlers’ personal choices. It’s normal for them to like one food and dislike another food. It doesn’t mean that they are picky eater. Maybe they have negative association with the food.
• Boost nutritional value to your toddlers’ dishes. For instance, you can add chunks of fresh or dried fruits into their favorite cereals. This way, they will not grow as picky eater.
• Ignore the urge to introduce sugary foods and dishes to toddlers. Sugar is addictive and you don’t need them to be addicted to sugar. You want them to develop their sense of various foods.
• Make sure that the meal time is free from any distractions. For instance, make sure their siblings play or run around the house when your toddlers are eating.
Tips to Make Toddlers like Eating Variety of Foods
What you need to know is that you cannot force your toddlers especially if they are picky eater to instantly become a lover of various foods. Shortly said, you cannot have them to eat as many kinds of foods as you do as adults. They need some time to grow and develop. And your job is to make sure that as long as they grow, you serve as many as foods as you can. You need to respect and be understanding of their personal choices.
What many parents don’t know is that all toddlers including the picky eater need to be in self-control of what they eat. It’s better to not force them to eat foods they dislike just because of your own selfishness. If you keep on doing it, they will have negative association with the food. And, it will create bigger problems in the future as they grow op. And if your toddlers say they are full, be more understanding and let them be. If you keep forcing, they will be stubborn.
How to Know Toddlers Eat Enough Food
When you are asked to be understanding about not forcing them to all eat the food, you may wonder how you can know that they eat enough. Well, the easiest thing is to see the doctor and have consultancy. Have the doctors check on your toddlers regularly to see whether they grow properly healthy or not. Usually, the doctors will also help you to prepare meal plan consisting of healthy foods your toddlers should eat. You do not need to worry if your toddlers are not as big as other toddlers at the same age. Every child is unique as well as their body. Some toddlers may not more nutrition due to certain health conditions while others don’t. Smaller toddlers do not mean they are picky eater. Perhaps, behind their small physical appearance, they consume more healthy nutrients than bigger toddlers that may have more sugary foods to eat.
Photo by Melissa under CC BY 2.0 License