Feeding your toddler does not have to be difficult
Sometimes feeding your toddler can be a nightmare.
From the food thrown on the floor, to the tantrums and ‘‘NO!’’ screamed from the highchair, it’s not an easy task to feed your child. That’s why it’s important to know that it’s just a phase, and your toddler is too active to want to sit down and eat a meal – and that’s fine. Being a picky eater is part of what it means to be a toddler. Believe it or not, there are developmental reasons for your toddler’s lack of appetite. Between the ages of one and three, it’s completely normal for them to turn their nose up at food. After a year prior of rapid growth, toddlers gain weight more slowly. Because of this, they need less food and would prefer to snack whilst exploring rather than sit still and feast on what is considered a meal too large for them to handle at once. Or in their eyes, is ‘‘yucky’’. ‘‘But they need their fruit and vegetables!’’ you say. Yes they do, but toddlers have erratic eating habits so you should aim for a nutritionally balanced week, not a balanced day. They may eat only fruit one day, and vegetables the next. Toddlers from one to three years need 1,300 calories a day, but they may not get this every day and it’s nothing that should be worried about. The best thing you can do for your toddler is offer them a testing plate, something they can graze on throughout the day and will still gain the nutritional value. This could include filling an ice cube tray, muffin tray or container with compartments with nutritional taster food. Avocado, banana, raisins, boiled egg, finger sandwiches, carrot, celery, cereal or anything small and tasty are very good ways in which your toddler can stay full of energy. They can pick at it in their own time and wont feel the demands of sitting still. You’re not a bad parent for catering to the needs of your child, or letting them choose what they would like to eat. During this fussy stage in their lives, the best you can do is give them choices and variety to enable them to eat on their own terms.