Help Your Fussy Toddler Eat Healthily
If you don’t have a fussy toddler it can be difficult to image the frustration of feeding times. Think about loosing your car keys and looking for them everywhere. Getting frustrated? Eventually you cough up for a new set. (Not cheap) Can you feel the anger rising? Two days later you find the initial set in your shopping basket.
That is the frustration of feeding a fussy toddler.
Now rinse and repeat 3 times a day.
I want chocolate biscuits.
So how do you feed your toddler a healthy diet and keep your cool?
If you think of healthy eating as a skill that you need to learn, like riding a bike, you’ll feel much better about your toddlers disinclination to eat anything that doesn’t come in a packet.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Toddlers love independence and being in charge! They hate being told what to do and this applies to food too. They don’t like being nagged, pressured or cajoled into eating. (In fact, there is lots of research that proves this. Not pressuring your kids to eat is my number one golden rule of getting to kids to eat.)
2. YOU decide WHAT you’re going to offer them (make sure you include something that is on the accepted list other wise you’ll be left with a screaming and ravenous toddler. Not a recipe for a tranquil evening.)
3. Allow them to help themselves to what they want to eat.
4. Allow them to put the food in their mouths.
5. Encourage them (without pressuring them) to try a bit of everything (if it really offends them you can try putting the non accepted things on a separate plate.)
6. Keep presenting foods that aren’t accepted but KNOW that they won’t eat them.
7. Be aware of portion sizes. Most parents over estimate the amount of food that toddlers need. An easy way to estimate a portion of something is what they can hold in their hand. A handful of chopped up apple is roughly a portion.
8. Be aware of treats and “easy to eat” food such as spaghetti Bolognese. Parents are much more likely to allow toddlers to have larger helpings of foods that they know they’ll eat, such as cookies.
9. Offer variety. I know it’s easy to get stuck on the one meal that they will eat, but keep offering different foods from each food group.
Above all, keep calm and keep your sense of humour. I know how frustrating it is to have food thrown at you or to face a screaming toddler.
In order to teach your children lasting healthy eating habits, you just need to keep presenting them with a healthy, tasty and balanced diet.
Your frustrating toddler will soon grow in a healthy eating older child. If you’d like to learn some simple and fun ways to teach your children healthy eating habits, come and join our Happy Healthy Eating for Kids Challenge.
To know more, click here.