How To Solve Toddler Feeding Dilemmas
Your feeding woes will surely be over when your tot turns into a toddler – won’t they? Unfortunately, many Moms still find plenty to worry about, more because it is in their inherent nature to worry about feeding their families, than anything else!
And so, toddlers’ tummies bring a whole host of new worries, like ‘is he eating enough?’ and ‘is he eating the right foods?’ Let me see if I can soothe your feeding fears!
The first thing you should know is that toddlers’ growth slows down, so they don’t need to eat as much as they did when they were babies! Amazing, isn’t it? They’ll probably only have about 400ml milk per day, and the rest will be solids. Just like with nursing, toddlers don’t stick to a schedule; often they prefer several small meals instead of big meals at set times.
The second thing you’ll notice is that your tot is developing his own tastes – and these tastes change constantly! Usually, toddlers go through six-week cycles of liking and then disliking a certain type of food. As long as each of these ‘fad foods’ is healthy, and his overall health and development is good, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s also okay to let your tot’s tastes guide the meal plan; toddlers tend to go instinctively for the foods which offer them the nutrients they need. Just make sure they’re not simply craving, and you providing, unhealthy food. Speaking of healthy food, toddlers enjoy either fruit or vegetables – but often not both. That’s fine; simply give them more of the fruit or veggies they love!
Four common food fights and how to solve them
If your toddler:
- Only eats unhealthy foods – simply stop giving them to him! Soon he’ll get his appetite for healthy foods back. After all, who buys the stuff?
- Hardly eats – leave bite-sized pieces of food in easy to reach places and take into account how much he eats at daycare. Add up the small bites he has throughout the day and you’ll be surprised at how much he eats! If illness is causing appetite loss, keep up his fluid intake.
- Is fussy – try to mix things up by making meals fun with fruit on a kebab or food pictures, or surprise him with soup for breakfast! Let him ‘help’ you stir the pot and set the table so that he feels involved; he’ll eat because he helped, and his hand-eye-coordination will improve! Share your food; toddlers are copy-cats, so they often prefer eating from your plate.
- Has excess mucus, skin rashes, allergies, or constipation – cut back on dairy- and grain-based foods, sugary treats, and processed foods.
As with most aspects of parenting, setting a good example is vital, so let him see you making healthy food choices. If healthy eating is simply a part of life in your house, it’ll become the norm for your tot and he’ll probably keep up those healthy habits for the rest of his life!