Toddler Not Eating?

(April 15, 2010)

A toddler refusing to eat is a very common problem that mothers all over the world face. In the initial months of life, a child is exclusively on a milk diet and does not know the difference between various foods. This makes mealtime easy for a mother as she does not have to coax her baby to eat. But, as the child continues to grow, she begins to develop likes and dislikes. This is the main factor that influences the eating habits of a toddler. Most toddlers are picky eaters and if they do not like a particular type of food, they will simply refuse to eat it. The other factor that causes issues with eating habits is the monotony of the same type of food being served on a daily basis. Children are experimentalists who get tired of the same food and would like to try out different kinds of food. Minor changes like the use of differently colored vegetables in salads or varying food preparations can arouse the interest of the child, thus encouraging her to eat well.

Most toddlers are smart enough to know that if they demand a certain food item, which in most cases would turn out to be junk food or chocolates, it will be given to them. This is common as most parents feel that giving in to their baby’s demands would at least ensure that the baby eats something. However, this is not correct as a baby needs wholesome food for proper development. Ascertaining your position and ensuring that your child eats within an allotted span of time will help in reducing mealtime battles. You could let your child know that she will be given only a certain amount of time to eat; approximately 20 minutes should be enough. If she chooses not to eat, ensure that you go through with the strategy and take the plate off the table. In addition, ensure that your child is not given any snack to compensate for the missed meal. Gradually your child will understand that you mean business and will start eating properly, having realized what hunger is. However, it is essential to keep in mind that a toddler will avoid meals if she is unwell. The discomfort caused by common conditions like indigestion and the common cold also has the ability to alter a toddler’s appetite. If you feel that your toddler is not eating properly, consulting a pediatrician is recommended so as to rule out any serious cause of loss of appetite.

Submitted by P T on April 15, 2010 at 01:41

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