How to Handle Picky Eating Toddlers

“I will eat but you have to guess first what food is on my head…”

This might be the idea of some toddlers, when you call them for a meal. Moms are usually bothered with toddlers who are picky eaters. At this growing stage of a child, it is a hard task for them to feed pick-eating ones. They exhibit the picky-on-food or mice-like eating habits that requires patience and understanding. Most moms are getting too much trouble in choosing their child’s food. It might be healthy but the toddler won’t even mind it or even just tasting it for once.

How to Handle Picky Eating Toddlers

As a mom, have you not wondered on what to do every time your child refuses to eat what you have prepared? Here are some tips for you when your toddler rejects or plays the food intended for him.

Feed him new set of food one at a time in small amounts only instead of serving a heavy meal of foods which are unfamiliar to him. This will add appetite./span>

Do not give him sugary foods an hour before meal or during snack time. It will make him feel full and probably divert his appetite.

If your child plays his food, try to have some discipline. Do not give him snacks until his next meal. This will help him understand the importance of every meal.

When your child refuses to eat dinner with the “I’m not hungry Mom!” reason, don’t give him heavy snacks in the afternoon.

Stick to the rule of “no junk foods allowed” because most children are more comfortable eating junk foods whole day than going after of your healthy meal and totally forgetting their appetite.

Try to use colorful set of plates, baby forks and spoons. This will excite their minds and trick their appetites.

You can trick your child by making wonderful designs on what you serve like the styles of slicing vegetables, the shapes of cookies and carrots and the stylish arrangements of potato cubes which catches his attention.

Feed your child away from visual distractions such as televisions, toys and everything that catches attention while eating.

In preparing and serving your child’s meal, you too must be picky on what to cook and at the same time be nutritious in your choice. 

Here are some suggested foods for your toddler:
  • Kidney beans and tofu
  • Eggs, poultry, squash and fish
  • Cheese, potatoes and peanut butter
  • Broccoli, pasta and avocadoes
  • Grains and cereals

You can also prepare finger food snacks in order for your toddler to explore more on their eating habits. They are the following:
  • Green beans and natural all-meat hotdogs
  • Creamed cheese and pasta
  • Sandwiches cut into squares or triangles
  • Fruits like bananas and sliced grapes

There are reasons why toddlers become picky eaters. At the age of 2-4, these reasons may be visible. You should be aware of the following:

1. Some toddlers do not need much of the food. Children’s appetite varies according to their specific growth period.

2. Refusing to eat is the toddler’s way of expressing independence. As your child is on his developmental milestones, he gains the idea of what he wants to do and where he wants to do it in his own will.

3. Single experience of food fighting with him causes trauma. This will probably give himself an option of not to eat even if beaten.

4. Some toddlers seek for new people and food experiences.  With their inquisitive young minds, toddlers want to see new set of food taste, textures and smells.

Being a parent, thinking that handling and feeding a picky eater is a major trouble, will never throw in positive outcome on your child’s developmental stage. Don’t get to rush out on feeding them properly. It is a part of his brain’s daily routine to eat or not to eat. Toddlers never starve on themselves at all.

Your job is to cook and prepare for his meal and feed him by all means of tricks. 

His job too is to deny his hunger, refuse to eat and perhaps choose for foods which are not on the table.  Hopefully, do not make your toddler’s meal time a battleground but a delicate project to be done compassionately.