Many children are fussy eaters and your child may like some food one day, and reject it another time. If they are growing, and has plenty of energy, then it’s most likely they are completely healthy and just being picky. Of course it can be a concern when your child won’t eat, so use this guide to allay your fears…
It may be worthwhile to avoid a strict meal plan. Eating a balanced diet is important, but having a relaxed relationship to food is also. It doesn’t really matter which vegetables go with the meat – just serve them separately!
Make sure you eat a healthy diet to encourage your toddler to try different foods. Try not to force your child to eat – I used to do this with my son, scared that he would starve. But I soon realised, that he will eat when his body tells him too, and by me not stressing over it, made him more comfortable around food. Now I struggle to keep him out of the kitchen!
Battles at the table can make both of you stressed and unhappy. Try offering spoon size portions to start with, and give more if enjoyed and stop if not.
Be child Knowledgeable
Do your homework – it’s not always the food that’s the reason why your child won’t eat. It could be that your child is having a slow growth period – this often happens during toddler and school age too. Snacks in between meals can cause problems if they’re unhealthy, and too many distractions at meal times such as toys or the television can hamper the focus on eating.
If your child has had a busy time and is extremely tired, you’ll know instinctively that food won’t be the most important factor at the end of the day. You’ll generally find that more food will be eaten at the next meal to make up for it! Likewise if your child is feeling unwell, eating less will be due to a reduced appetite. Offer plenty of fluids until the appetite returns – it’s very important to keep your child hydrated during this time.
It’s a good idea to tell your child about 10 minutes earlier when meal time will be. This gives them time to put away toys, wash hands, and calm down before eating. Get into a routine as early as possible so your child is comfortable knowing that you’re going to sit down as a family and chat about all the exciting things that have happened during the day! Make meal times are happy and relaxed. You’ll all benefit.
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