Fussy eating is very common in toddlers (1-3 year olds). The main reason is because it is boring to them. They want to be off exploring the world, not sitting down!
- Keep calm and try not to get overly anxious. Adults often think their child needs to eat more than they actually need
- Respect your child’s right to refuse food but don’t get in to the habit of offering other alternatives
- Toddlers learn to eat by watching others. Try to sit with your child and eat the same food so they can watch, copy and learn what to d
- Eating the same foods as your child gives reassurance as unfamiliar foods can cause anxiety in some children. Imagine eating in a restaurant when you are on holiday and your meal is served totally unlike what you imagined!
- If your child refuses the food minimise attention, decide on an appropriate amount of time (about 20 minutes) and then remove without fuss. Toddlers often refuse food as they know it brings lots of attention.
- Make mealtimes fun and sociable. Eat away from distractions such as ipads and tv. Have a rule no mobiles etc at the table (a rule for everyone)
- Allow your child to feed themselves- give a few pieces at a time. If they are likely to throw the plate just put straight on a high chair tray or mat. Too much food at a time is overwhelming and will often stop toddlers eating.
- Organise meals so 3 main meals a day and 2-3 healthy snacks
- Don’t continually persuade your child to eat more, you don’t need to coax, bribe or force a child to eat
- Adults and older children tend to consume about the same calories each day. Toddlers vary, some days they eat more and others hardly anything. A nutritionally balanced intake would be 1000-1300 a day but look at it balancing out over the week
If you would like more information, contact me.