When it comes to being picky eaters, toddlers rule! If you have a fussy toddler that just won’t give in to certain foods and won’t eat at regular meal times, there are a few things you can do to help them (and you!) out. From making meal times fun and getting them involved in the meal making process to sticking to a routine and hiding nutritious food in their meals, there is always a way to survive your little one’s food fussiness.
Make Meal Time Fun!
Kids love to create. Make mealtime fun by letting your toddler make their own pizza or put together their own healthy wraps. There are loads of meals that you can let your little one put together. When they make it, they will be more interested in eating it.
Get Them to Help with Prep
Some toddlers love getting involved when Mom or Dad is cooking in the kitchen. They don’t need to be near any hot pans, liquids, or ovens, but they can do simple things like sorting and washing veggies, stirring ingredients, mashing veggies and cookie cutting with child-friendly plastic-shaped cutters.
Stick to Your Routine
Make sure you stick to a mealtime routine. If your little one is refusing to eat at breakfast-time then so be it, but always introduce meals at the same time regardless of his or her fussiness. They need to know when it is time to eat and keeping to a schedule will help them eventually adjust.
When introducing new foods it is important to keep trying. Try to hang in there and keep giving your child a new food every now and then. They may play with it, touch it, mush it, or even throw it, but it’s good to be persistent. One day they may shock you and put that hardboiled egg or turkey wrap in their little mouths without a second thought.
Respect Your Child’s Appetite
Every child goes through difficulties when it comes to their appetite. Never force your child to eat if they do not want to. Some kids get a cold or are tired and have no appetite, while others are so distracted by the fun they are having their thoughts are on anything but food.
Sneak Nutrition In!
When all else fails hide the nutritious food in foods that they actually like to eat on a regular basis. If they tend to go for ground beef and rice dishes but won’t touch their broccoli or cheese, throw them into a ground beef based meatloaf. Voila! Your toddler won’t act out, scream, and throw food and they will be getting all of their daily nutrients.
It’s a roller coaster ride where appetite and toddlers are concerned. When in doubt, trust your little one’s cues when it comes to hunger. When they are hungry, they will eat. If it goes on for longer than a few meals, check with your doctor.
How do you deal with your picky eater? Share with us your mealtime tips!