Toddlers are at a stage where they begin to develop a sense of independence. They are always on the move, busily exploring the world around them. They sometimes use food to exert their independence; they will try state their preference on what, when, how much and where they will eat.
Feeding toddlers is often challenging and usually messy as they throw, squash and explore food by playing with it. This, however is an important part of their development and it can be rewarding to observe their enjoyment and exploration of different foods and textures. it can also be frustrating as they could throw tantrums, refuse food and insist on food fads. There times really raise your concern about your toddler's nutrional intake. This is all normal and is experienced(in varying degrees)by all parents/child carers. The following tips and strategies should help you through this time.
Dealing with a fussy eater?
A positive approach to food and eating can help you manage meal times better. Throw away your expectations of what they should eat and try not to judge them on how much they have or have not eaten. Always remember it is the parent's responsibility to choose what, when and where to eat and the child's duty to decide whether to eat or not. How much they eat will depend on how hungry they are and whether they want to eat the foods offered. Learn to trust their appetite and help them to know when they are full or still hungry. Try not to worry if little is eaten and offer food again at the next meal or snack time. They will probably eat more at the next meal when they feel like it. It is best not to react but stay calm and positive. This will help make mealtimes a positive experience for all. Try to sit with your toddler at meal times; be relaxed and enjoy it as a special bonding time with your child. Meal times are not just a time for eating but a time for learning, exploring food and developing social skills.