Why is my Toddler such a Fussy Eater?
Picture the scene - you lovingly prepared a tasty and nutritious meal for your toddler, including all the major food groups - lovely fresh vegetables, some chicken, fish or eggs with rice or potatoes. The food is played with, refused, or thrown on the floor! Exhausted, you give in again and offer bread and cream cheese - the only thing your little one seems to accept these days!
Why are toddlers so picky?
For toddlers so many tastes and textures are new to them. They transitioned from only milk to pureed food and then started eating solid food. Sometimes the texture of the food can be strange and new for the toddler and sometimes it might be the taste. As toddlers get towards 2 years old they might refuse foods as a way to assert their independence too.
Is my child getting enough nutrients?
It’s natural for you to worry that your child is not getting all of the nutrition they need, but if they are eating at least something from the main food groups (protein, starchy carbohydrates, fruit/vegetables and milk/dairy), and they are gaining weight, they are most likely getting everything they need; try not to worry!
How can I manage my fussy eater?
Children learn by copying - try to eat together as a family and prepare the same healthy food for everyone. At Blossom all children eat the same meals; sharing food in this way encourages children to try new things.
Make mealtimes enjoyable by sitting down and chatting to your toddler.
Keep introducing new foods gradually - if your child doesn’t eat them take them away without fuss. Offer new foods next to familiar foods without making a big deal about it.
Don’t offer sweet food as rewards - your toddler might learn to see sweets as ‘good’ and vegetables or savoury food as ‘bad’. Instead of using food, offer to play a game with them or take them for a trip to the park.
Give small portions and praise children for eating something or trying a new food.
Give your child enough time to eat - they may be a slow eater; let them take their time.
Invite children around for a dinner playdate! If the other children are good eaters, seeing others eat well can encourage your child to try the new foods. Don’t talk too much about how good the other children are at eating to make sure that the experience is a positive one for your child.
Ask an adult that your child likes and looks up to to eat with you. Sometimes a child will eat for someone else, such as a grandparent, without any fuss.
Children’s tastes change. One day they’ll hate something, but a month later they may love it -
Changing the form a food comes in may make it more acceptable. For example, a child might refuse cooked carrots but enjoy raw, grated carrot.
If you want to know more about fussy eaters and how to manage them, come along for our free seminar with Lyndsay Mawdsley.
Date: Tuesday, 7th November
Time: 8:15am - 9:15am
Location: Blossom Burj Nursery, Villa 37, Street 10a, Umm Al Sheif
To book your free place on the seminar call Louise on 04 3486275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.