Feeding a toddler can be challenging at times. Some days they eat a lot, and sometimes they hardly touch their food.
Some kids are messy eaters, while others need lots of choices to fill up their tummies.
We know this could be a frustrating situation for lots of moms…
But this doesn’t need to be that tough, right?
Also, please know that you’re not alone in the struggle of feeding your toddler the right way.
When it comes to feeding a toddler, we know there are probably many more tips beyond 7. But we have tried to focus on the best suggestions that could help you set your toddler’s feeding routine without much difficulty.
But before we start discussing the proven feeding tips, first have a quick look at some of the most common feeding mistakes we all make at some stage in motherhood.
Common Toddler Feeding Mistakes
Treating Picky Eating as a Big Hurdle
For many parents, seeing a change in their child’s eating habits is a hard pill to swallow. The habit of picky eating is quite annoying for most parents.
According to research, growth significantly slows down in the second year, leading to decreased appetite.
Brain development also occurs in this phase. That is why most parents try to stuff their kids with healthy and nutritious foods.
According to researchers, picky eating is an adaptive behavior that naturally develops in toddlers to protect them from consuming toxic plants.
Research also suggests that the fear of trying new tastes and foods increases between 2 and 6 years of age. So consider picky eating as part of your child’s growth and development.
You don’t have to ask your child for their preferred food choices each time you have to serve them a meal.
Asking toddlers about what they would like to have for lunch and dinner will encourage them to say ‘no’ to everything you have for them.
Simply plan and cook meals and serve them to your kid without bothering about their approval. And if you do give choices, be specific about two food options: do you want to have a chicken sandwich or Nutella one?
Trying to Control Everything
Being a parent doesn’t allow you to micromanage your child’s eating. Just like it is not recommended to let your kid have complete control over his meals, you must not interfere with the quantities.
What, where, and when you should feed your child should be your business. But let your child decide how much they want to eat.
Filling Up Tummies all the Time
Your toddler’s tummy is just about the size of your fist. You cannot stuff their bellies with all the healthy foods you have on your list.
A common mistake parents make is to allow your kids to have snacks and juices throughout the day. This will keep your children full and they will be least interested in having the main meals.
Commenting on How Much Children Eat
According to one of the studies published back in 2007, more than 85% of parents comment during mealtimes to praise their children for eating more.
As a result, children never understand the importance of food and feelings of hunger and satiety.
Instead of commenting on your toddler’s food intake, ask them to follow their heart and listen to their tummies.
7 Expert & Proven Tips For Parents On Feeding Toddlers – Feeding Guide
Follow Your Child’s Hunger Cues
Do you observe there’s a time of day when your toddler looks very hungry? Some kids eat better in the morning, while others eat well at night. Follow your child’s hunger cues and prep accordingly.
Prepare a breakfast fit for a king if you know your child loves having it. Serve food in your kid’s favorite utensils to develop interest. There are many babies online stores that you can check out for specialized kids’ tableware and cutlery. You can even involve your child to choose his favorite utensils.
Involve Your Toddler in the Cooking Process
Get your toddler to involve in the cooking process. You can even dedicate a drawer in your kitchen for your child where they can keep their bowls, silicone baby spoons, and other utensils.
Talk about the foods you’re chopping, peeling, boiling, or frying. Also, discuss their colors, tastes, and textures.
You don’t have to involve them all the time, but once or twice a week could definitely do the trick.
Invest in Your Toddler’s Favorite Cutlery
One of the proven ways you can get your toddler involved in mealtimes is by letting them choose their favorite cutlery from babies’ online stores.
Today, you can find a huge variety of kids’ tableware and cutlery options, including giraffe spoon and fork, batman bowls, and other options based on your kid’s favorite animated characters and themes.
Serve Something New with Old Favorite
Instead of introducing an entirely new meal every time, try to serve your kid’s favorite food with new side dishes. For instance, if your child loves eating fish, then you can introduce new dips, sauteed veggies, or bread on the side to complete the meal.
Similarly, you can include fruits with every meal to make your combo exciting.
This is the most important tip. No matter how busy you’re, take time out from your routine, and accompany your child at mealtime to make his experience worthwhile.
Remember, your child doesn’t want food. He wants you. So be there when he needs you the most.
Always Serve Solids Before the Liquids
You must have heard of the tip of consuming a big glass of water before mealtime to suppress hunger. But that’s not what you can implement with your little ones.
Do not over serve juices, milk, and water during mealtimes. Also, serve solid food first before you feed a glass of milk or juice with a meal.
Do not Pressurize Your Toddler for New Foods
Do not pressurize your toddler to try new foods just because you want them to. Every child learns at their own pace.
One of the mistakes parents make is to bribe their kids to try new food, leading your child to link trying new options just for the sake of reward and not for the experience.
Million Dollar Tips
- Avoid foods that may cause choking, including large chunks of meat and hard candy
- Always cut fruits and vegetables into small pieces
- Avoid giving toddlers sticky and slippery foods, such as grapes, peanut butter, and marshmallows
- Get in touch with your pediatrician to find out if your child has any food allergy
- Never introduce more than one new food at a time
- Make simple food with basic ingredients
- Serve food nicely, preferably on your child’s favorite tableware
- Never pressurize your child to eat something he or she doesn’t like
- Give your toddler enough time to finish their meal
- Use the right type of silicone baby spoons, bowls, and cups
- Invest in a high chair to provide your toddler with a comfortable mealtime experience
In conclusion, feeding your toddler isn’t rocket science. Make sure you set a good example of healthy eating for your little one, as this habit can go a very long way.