Toddlers are known to be difficult eaters. They are extremely picky and choosy about their food intake. As a parent, that leaves them in a dilemma as they need to ensure that the child is getting an adequate dose of nutrients and important protein and vitamins from the food they intake. After all, these few initial years of life are crucial for both physical as well as mental development.
It is a task to handle fussy eaters. Here are some tips and tricks that will help the parents to improve the situation and handle the toddlers.
Tip 1: Introduce them to as many food types as possible:
The biggest mistake that parents do is to take calls on behalf of their toddlers. Most of the time as the parent does not like to eat a particular kind of vegetable; they safely assume that the toddler will also not like them. However, in reality, the child has not yet been exposed to all kinds of vegetables and fruits and has no clue about the taste of the vegetable. Hence, before the child is labelled as a “Fussy eater”, it is important to expose him or her to a variety of fruits and vegetables. The idea is to introduce all kinds of vegetables and food items to them as per their age and then let them decide as to what they like to eat and what they do not.
Tip 2: Let them explore with texture:
Most parents often complain that my child used to eat everything till a year back and now since she or he has become 2 or 3 years, refuses the same. The root cause of this is because till one year back, the child was served a plethora of vegetables and fruits in a mash format. So actually the child has no connection with the way the fruit looks in whole or when cut in pieces. So, suddenly instead of a mashed apple when we are serving the kid, an apple cut into pieces s/he is refusing same instinctively thinking it is a new or alien food. The only way to overcome this situation is to actually serve kids cut fruits and vegetables as early as we can. This way, they will recognize the food they eat with the shape and taste.
Tip 3: Concentrate on the essentials:
It is important to take one step at a time. A toddler will not change his or her eating habits overnight. The parents have to take one step at a time. Like, concentrate on the essentials like calcium requirement for a growing toddler. Tell to the kid about the benefits of drinking milk in a fun way, talking about how these foods will make her or him stronger and taller. Take baby steps with the children to get them on board.
Tip 4: Make them understand:
Tell the child why it is important to have food and its benefits. Like if the kid is refusing green vegetables, talk about the benefits of vegetables, involve the kid in vegetable selection process or give it to the kid in an interesting way such as favorite dish or shape. It is surprising how much kids understand when we speak to them.
Hope the above tips will help you convert a fussy toddler into a happy eater.