Eating and your Toddler:
Getting your toddler to eat can be pretty difficult. If your one of those parents who can’t seem to work it out maybe some of these tips will help you. Hopefully, some of them will give you the confidence to stick it out and figure out what works for you.
I think, I lucked out as far as not having a “picky eater” Allie loves most foods. She will eat pretty much anything I give her. But, I have noticed recently, after only a few minutes she gets bored with it and wants to go play. Now, that may be a result of being able to run around the house easier and get into everything.
I have tried a lot of different things to get her to sit and finish a meal but I have yet to find the right combination that clicks for her and the rest of our family.
I researched a few different techniques and have compiled my own list of tips I think might work for me. Hopefully. some of them will help you and we can share in mutual success 🙂
27 TIPS TO GET YOUR TODDLER TO EAT (AND FINISH) A MEAL
- First of all, let us just be clear… As long as your child is eating SOME of their food it is a great accomplishment. Especially around age 2 when they want to do anything but what you ask them.
- Allow only two to three snacks a day. Such as fruit, cheese, crackers or raisins. Children who over snack will not be hungry for meals.
- Avoid to much juice or milk as it takes up their calorie intake for the day. (16 oz. milk and 6 oz. juice)
- Give your child smaller portions and only give more if they ask. To much can overwhelm and discourage. Also, giving them this little bit of control will make them want to do it for themselves.
- Try to incorporate all four food groups at each meal. (Carbs, fruit, veggie, and meat)
- Try, as much as possible, to eat as a family. When the child see’s others eating and enjoying themselves they will want to do the same.
- Maybe, change the appearance of the food to peak the child’s interest. (use cookie cutters for fun shapes)
- Avoid negative reactions or even positive praise. The child should want to eat to please themselves not anyone else.
- If you feel like your child just isn’t getting enough try a multivitamin.
- Don’t judge from just one day, as long as your child is getting a variety of foods over a week long period, they are fine.
- As a rule, only make one meal for the entire family.Show that if you are eating the meal everyone else eats the same food.
- One bite rule, at least try each thing once.
- No substitutes! They must have the same meal as everyone else.
- Don’t offer any snacks at least two hours before dinner. To insure they are hungry for the meal.
- Get them excited for the meal. “Almost dinner time, lets set the table!”
- Try to have a tray stocked with anything you might need for the meal. Constant up and down to get forgotten items disrupts the flow and children tend to get distracted fast.
- Offer special rewards for eating a certain amount like stickers or dessert.
- No punishments. but make the rules clear. They must try at least one bite of everything at every meal no exceptions.
- Keep your expectations low. These things take time. One day might be great and they eat most of their food and everyone has a great meal, and the next day spaghetti is on the wall and in your hair and the dog ate most of the food. The more you do it and stick to your guns it will get easier.
- Keep your eye on the prize. That being, a smooth family experience, not etiquette school. Since it is your house you get to decide what the difference is for your family.
- Keep the meal short. As we all know, children have very short attention spans. Get to know your time frame and try to stick within that time slot.
- Try to make after dinner dessert more of the fruit variety. Cakes and pastries will give them a sugar rush.
- Don’t give up! It takes time to form a good habit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, keep up with it.
- Keep offering new and different foods. No matter how many different times, you never know when they will be in the right mood to try and like a new food.
- Do not try to put so much effort into the preparation of your toddlers food. They will most likely reject a lot of it. Don’t feel defeated, it happens!
- Be sure to have dinner long before bed time. Tired children are notorious for being very cranky and not wanting to eat anything no matter how hard you try to feed them.
- Don’t get to crazy! If you hit the end of your rope its okay to give in and make a PB&J. (but only once in a while)
Keep your head up! We can’t all be stepford wives 🙂
So, these tips may not work for everyone. But, I do believe they are a great starting off point to find what works best for you and how you would like your meals (and overall life) to be for your family.
That is all.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I hope I didn’t bore you to much. Have a great day and a wonderful week!
Allie’s Mommy 😛