When getting your toddler to eat comes down to ‘enjoying’ regular tantrums and screaming, one day you may feel that you’re about to lose your temper. You may even experience bad moments when your little darling refuses foods he typically enjoys.
Try to keep your cool and make sure that fussy eating in toddlers is a common phenomenon. It’s a phase of a toddler’s development. Stave off your anxiety about your baby’s mealtimes. Being worried about the issue too much can only make it worse.
You should know that once this phase is over your fussy eating toddler will enjoy your lovingly prepared food. Meanwhile, just stay calm and try some of the most effective and healthy tricks for getting fussy toddlers to eat without tantrums and bribery. Read on and you will find out how to get your kid listen and obey during meals.
Strategies for feeding fussy toddlers
You’ve spent a couple of hours peeling, chopping, steaming and pureeing a healthy meal for your toddler. But what does your baby do? He ignores the spoon, throws it on the floor in disgust and announces going on hunger strike with a massive tantrum. Your toddler may be going though a phase of reluctance to try new foods.
If you really want to ensure that your toddler is getting a healthy diet, you can try the following healthy tricks and tactics for feeding fussy toddlers and making mealtimes run smoothly:
- eat together with your kid: toddlers learn to enjoy new meals by observing and modeling their parents and other kids in the family; make sure you don’t add salt to your baby’s food
- praise foods: if you say the new meal is yummy, your kiddo may be willing to give it a try
- praise your baby’s yummy moments: if you give your precious toddler more attention when he won’t eat, he may continue in the same spirit just to get some attention from mommy
- if your kid refuses to eat, don’t lose your cool or try to cajole him into eating; just calmly and silently take away his food
- develop a daily routine of 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks; take into account your kid’s daytime sleep pattern and feed him a light snack before naps; proper meals should be given when your baby wakes up from a nap
- avoid feeding your fussy toddler if he is too tired or if the feeding process already lasts half an hour
- make your toddler feel that eating is fun: enjoy each other’s company, let him eat with other kids if possible, allow him to touch his food and play with it (even if it gets a bit messy)
- don’t fill your baby up with sugary drinks: they will leave him feeling too full to eat
- allow your toddler to eat slowly and avoid giving him an after-meal candy
- if your kid refuses from a new meal, try offering it more than once: toddlers’ tastes swing as frequently as their moods
- offer your fussy eating baby something with a variety of colors and textures on his plate
When a baby is around the age of 2 they may eat a very narrow range of foods. This fear of new foods is a normal part of your kid’s development. Give your toddler some time to discover that unfamiliar foods are yummy and healthy. One of the best ways to encourage your kid is by letting him watch your family enjoy the foods he doesn’t ‘trust’.
How to get fussy kids to eat
Another strategy to get fussy kids to eat is to encourage them to be active. Lots of exercise will enable your toddler to become all inspired when mommy shows up with a plate of yummies. If you want your kiddo to try new foods, make sure you also involve him in cooking: let him touch new foods and play with them a little.
Many professionals will recommend you to feed your baby away from various distractions (television, internet, music, toys etc.). They say distractions prevent kids from focusing on eating and enjoying new tastes. It may be true in some cases. However, you are free to approach this very recommendation with your toddler’s unique personality in mind. Here’s why.