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Toddler Eating

Eating or not eating is a choice that toddlers have the power to make.

Toddler eating habits can sometimes prove quite troublesome!

Eating is a choice that toddlers have the power to make, and it doesn't take them long to seize an opportunity for a power game over their parents.

By the time he has plenty of teeth, your toddler will mostly be eating just what you are.

It's often surprising to parents just how adaptable their toddler can be, and how he can and will experiment with a large variety of different foods if he is offered them.

However, the opposite can also be very much the case.

Toddler Eating Problems

Some toddlers are always hungry and quickly devour what ever is put in front of them. Others however, are picky, fussy eaters and become troublesome around mealtimes.

toddler eating Maybe you need to check out whether you have kept up with his changing food requirements. Some parents keep right on feeding their toddlers varieties of baby foods, without adjusting their thinking around their growing and developing toddler.

Many parents create problems around food and eating habits by continuing to supply food in response to grizzles from their toddler, just as they would to their baby.

Try some different ways of dealing with your toddler's demands for attention instead of giving snacks.

Help your toddler to identify his feelings of frustration or boredom.

Give your time and attention instead of food. Often, just simply turning your full attention to your child for a few minutes will solve the grizzles.

Keep a box of toys aside that haven't been played with in a while and bring out exciting new play ideas instead of offering food.

Toddler Eating Problems - Too many choices!

Too many choices!

Here is a simple parenting tip that can often change the outlook from outright toddler warfare to an easier, more peaceful situation during toddler development.

Instead of confusing your toddler with too much variety, offer limited choices so your toddler learns how to make decisions.

Offering too many choices is just too confusing and often the cause of conflict and toddler tantrums.

Try being more clear, firm and consistent in your parenting approach.
toddler eating
You are in charge of his schedule.

He has no choice around that - and neither should he - he's too young for that much responsibility.

Around the issue of meal times, you tell him it is meal time.

You determine his meal times, and offer a choice maybe between which fruit he would like.

For example you ask, "Would you like a banana or an apple now?" rather than "What would you like to eat?"

There is less for him to rebel against this way and with more guidance, security and clarity, he feels more secure.

Toddler Eating Habits

Toddler Eating Tip!

If you are eating, you are sitting down.

You can begin to make this rule your own
when your toddler is first learning to walk.

Be clear, firm and consistent with it right from the start and your toddler will quickly associate eating with sitting down.

toddler eating Simply remove the food each time he/she stands up and clearly tell him to sit down again. When he/she is sitting, replace the food. There is no need to make it an issue.

Being consistent means making it a habit. When forming any new habit you need to pay attention and to be consistent. Be firm with yourself around this, enlisting the support of your family so that you are all on the same page.

If you don't teach your toddler this and implement it at home, then it makes the transition to pre- school more difficult for him. Because of the threat of choking, nurseries and pre- schools must enforce this rule and toddlers are required to sit down and stay seated while they eat.

Help your toddler out by being clear, firm and consistent yourself around your toddler's eating habits.

Toddler Eating Habits -
Table Manners

toddler eating Begin early to teach good table manners. Model these by eating well and regularly yourself, rather than on the run or watching television. Try to eat together at the table.

If this is not possible in your family situation, then aim to be at least sitting down with your toddler while he has his meal. This is a valuable opportunity for peaceful interaction together, and forms the basis of great family life for the future.

Read more about Healthy Eating for Children: Why do children pick and fuss at nourishing food? Read about how to ensure your children are hungry at meal times.

I recommend Little Stomaks - a well researched blog on Science Driven Toddler Nutrition - Check it out!

Your Healthy Eating Helper: Learn how to get your children to eat and enjoy healthy food.
If you have a question on toddler eating, please contact me here.

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