If you’re a first time mom, it is quite easy to obsess over the small and big details concerning how to raise your child. Starting from whether you are instilling good values into your son to whether your baby girl is getting the right nutrition – these are individual decisions that you have to make along the way. The good news is that as long as you have your child’s best intentions in mind, you can pretty much rely on your instincts when raising a kid.
Let’s take toddlers as an example. From months-old babies, they grow into toddlers – a stage that lasts for up to their third year or birth. During the first few months, you might find it quite easy to feed your child because milk will be his or her primary source of nutrition. But once your kid turns one, two and three years old, feeding becomes way more difficult. This is especially true for toddlers who are naturally picky eaters.
How are you supposed to deal with such situations as parent? First of all, remember that toddlers have a stomach which is the size of the fist. As compared to your older kids, a toddler may not seem to be eating much. But when you consider the size of their stomachs, it really is not realistic for you to expect them to gobble up too much food. Read on to find out more about how you can turn your toddler into a non-picky eater, or at least make him or her get proper nutrition.
Tips for Getting Toddlers to Eat Better
If you’re worried about whether your toddler is getting proper nutrition or not due to being a picky eater, here are a few tips:
- Make eating a routine habit every day.
Kids thrive on routine whether it’s bath time, sleeping time or eating time. To make sure that your toddler will not skip on having breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner, set a specific time for each. Resist the temptation to give your kids snacks in between meals because this would ruin their appetites for the main meals of the day.
- No matter which food item it is you are feeding your toddler, keep trying even if he or she refuses at first.
Toddlers love playing with their food. If you are feeding your daughter mashed bananas, for example, she might spit it out at first. When she realizes that she likes the taste, she will eventually accept the food in her mouth so try feeding her a spoonful again.
- If your toddler does not like fruits or veggies, ‘hide’ the ingredients into other food forms.
Toddlers are visual creatures and absorb information like a sponge. Once your son decides that he does not like broccoli, he will cringe once he sees it served at the dinner table. However, you can incorporate the healthy ingredients in other recipes like meatballs so he will find it more tolerable to eat.
- Bring your kid along when shopping for grocery items.
Get your kids to be interested in stories of talking vegetables or fruits and take them grocery shopping with you. It’s very likely that they will eat the food items which they themselves added on the shopping basket.
- Other tips for getting your toddler to eat better.
Set a good example for the kids and never rush your meals. You can make food look more visually exciting by using fun cookie cutter shapes on veggies and fruits to make them more interesting. Have a steady supply of ketchup, yogurt or other healthy dips because toddlers love dipping their food.
Lastly, remember that there are days when toddlers may want to eat everything in sight, and days when they might not be in the mood to eat anything at all. This is all part of the growing process. By following these tips, you can get a toddler who’s a picky eater to have proper nutrition by serving the right food and knowing what to expect.
Matthew Young is an active blogger, who likes to share advice and tips. Matthew likes to write about kids related topics and is a guest writer for ColoringPagesABC.com.