Sometimes your toddler might stress you out when they decide they don’t want to eat! I know for me, I worry that they are getting the nutrition they need, and eating a well-balanced meal. Picky eating normally peaks around toddler age up to preschool. It is a phase that most children eventually grow out of.
If you didn’t know most kids have to try a food anywhere from 10-15 times before they truly can say they don’t like something. They might eat it twice fine, and then the third time they are not a fan. Just keep trying because it can take a little time for them to truly learn if they like a food! You might be thinking to yourself “Is tea good for toddlers?”, I’ve learned that everything in moderation is good to get them trying new foods and make them less picky.
Below are some solutions to how to deal with a picky eating toddler! It is hard as a parent to know how to work with them to learn to eat foods, and not lose it in the process!
Solutions for How to Deal with Picky Eating
Role Model: This is a big one, is to be a role model. If you want your child to eat all the colours of a rainbow and a balanced meal, then you need to. Most children really watch what the parents do, and if you aren’t touching those peas, why do you think your child will! Cook foods that are nutritious and that you enjoy eating. Then as they watch you eat, they could decide to try it!
Eat off Your Plate: Sometimes toddlers are interested in what mom and dad are eating. Consider letting them sit in your lap, and pick at your food. I have done this numerous times and found success at the little one eating foods from my plate that they wouldn’t on their own!
Stay Calm and Start Small: Stay calm during the process of trying to get your little one to eat. It is easy to feel frustrated when they won’t even attempt a bite. Kindly and gently offer a small bite to your toddler. It can be one pea, or one tiny bite of the food you want them to try. Ask if they can try just one tiny bite. Tell them how good it is, so they know it is safe.
If they absolutely refuse, it is okay. Just try again at another meal. Just remember during this all, stay calm and keep things low key.
Snacks: Make sure that you have a healthy snack set out in their reach during the day. It could be some fruit, nuts, or whatever you want. Maybe once or twice during the day just set a bowl with the snack on a table where they can reach it. Then if they want a snack it is right there for them to grab. It is a great way to get them to try a new food as well.
Limit Snacks and Drinks: Some parents limit drinks and snacks so the child can’t get really full before meals. Then when meal times come around they will be hungry and you have a better chance of them eating. I would limit snacks by a couple hours before a meal and a drink around an hour. This isn’t something you have to do, some parents just find it helps in their child eating more at meal times.
Nutritional Meals: This is one way to make sure your child gets some good foods in them. Create meals that packed full of nutritional items, so that even if they won’t eat one or two foods the other food they do eat is healthy! Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, are all great. Try to cook with the colours of the rainbow!
Consult Pediatrician: If you are concerned with a few foods your child will eat, consult your paediatrician. They can really help give you guidance on what else to try or if that it sounds completely normal. They can also recommend a supplemental drink to try to help give your child the nutrition they need.
As you can see working with a picky eater just takes a lot of patience and time. Just keep trying new foods when you can and hopefully, in time they will decide to try a bite or even two!