One of the biggest challenges nearly all mums face when it comes to raising their toddler is dealing with picky eating habits.
If you can relate and you feel like you’re pulling your hair out, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to discover the 5 most common toddler food challenges that you might be facing, and how to tackle them.
Too Much Pressure
Yes, you read that right. Check if you’re pushing your kid too much when it comes to eating healthy. Never threaten or force your little one to eat a specific food, as it’s the surest way to put them off it.
Try to take a more relaxed approach and allow your little one to experiment with different foods and textures.
Bargaining for Bites
This one seems to be the most common tactic most parents use when their kid refuses to eat something, and is actually one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Convincing your little one to have 3 florets of broccoli in exchange for a chocolate chip cookie later is just plain wrong. Your telling your little one that the cookie is far more valuable than the broccoli, and it doesn’t take away your kid’s detest for broccoli either.
Instead, encourage your little one to be open to trying different foods, and allow him to take his pick from an array of healthy foods and then take it from there. Their tastes will probably evolve over time so if they refuse something don’t give up on it forever.
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This one’s another big concern for a lot of mums. Their toddlers don’t seem to eat what’s on their lunch or dinner plate, and then go ahead and snack like crazy while watching TV.
This can result in bad eating habits later in life. There’s nothing wrong with snacks of course but try to make sure you’re toddler is being intentional when they eat rather than distracted. Sit with them at the table, even just for snacks, and chat about how yummy the food is.
Look for healthy alternatives to their favourite snacks – think popcorn, fruit or veggie sticks and homemade hummus. You might also want to introduce the concept of healthy eating to your toddler through some good picture books.
More often than not, when your little one acts all disgusted with the food he’s served, it’s because he doesn’t find it visually appealing.
Go ahead and pick up a couple of fancy sets of cutlery, and take a couple extra minutes for presentation when you serve your little one their meal. It may seem like a bit of hassle but you might find it really helps and don’t worry, you won’t have to do it forever! A bento style lunch box or plate is also another great way to make food more visually appealing.
A superb idea to get toddlers to overcome their mindset of food being ‘yucky’ is to get them more involved in the kitchen, and have them watch or help when you’re preparing a meal. To make your kitchen life easier, you can check my ultimate guide on the best multi-cooker here.
Believe it or not, sometimes, your kid’s fussiness with food could be nothing but a behavioural issue. They could just be trying to get more attention from you.
Try to spend more time with them and talk about the foods that you both like and dislike and why. They will feel like they’re getting a bit more attention from you and you might even get some great ideas from them on food they would like to try!