Your child’s fussiness may seem really difficult, and it’s only natural to worry they aren’t getting enough food, but it’s best to try not to focus on what they have or haven’t eaten that day. It’s much easier and more productive to look at what they’ve eaten over the whole week.
It is very common for toddlers to refuse foods – you’re not alone – and lots of parents experience these problems, so here are some tips for getting through their fussy period:
- Gradually give them new foods.
- Go back to the food they first refused because chances are their tastes will have changed, and sometimes it can take up to 10 times until they get used to it.
- If they are adamant in not eating it just stay calm and take the food away, if you make a big deal it can lead to the refusal of food being fun for them.
- Lead by example, serve the same food to the family, try to eat with your child as much as you can.
- Don’t bribe or force them to eat, as this may lead to unhealthy eating habits.
- Avoid giving them too many snacks during the day (2 healthy snacks is okay).
- Smaller portions are more manageable for them and less daunting, you can always top them up if they finish.
- Ask someone your child loves to come over and eat with them, sometimes they will eat for someone else such as a grandparent.
- Give them a calm environment to eat in, and the less distractions the better.
Remember to be patient, they might just be a slow eater. As long as they are not losing weight and are getting the right nutrients, they will be okay.