Wasn't it just the best time when you all you had to do was nudge the spoonful of strained fruit and your baby would gobble it up? Once your child is out of that feeding chair, you often find yourself chasing the little troublemaker all over the house to feed him/ her. Your home now resembles a battlefield at mealtimes and the erstwhile peaceful eating baby has become a cranky and stubborn toddler who makes mealtimes an ordeal. At this stage, most kids will pick at their food. Some will only have the same kind of food day after day and some kids will...
...only survive on milk, juices, and mid-day snacks. While this sounds appalling, it’s not abnormal.
The good news is, this is definitely a phase and your toddler will grow out of it. The bad news however is that this phase may last a year or two.
The first thing to remember (easier said than done, of course) is to remain calm when your child is repeatedly refusing to eat. The other thing to remember is that there is no coherent reason why your child suddenly refuses to eat a snack he adored until the previous day.
Be creative and try different types of food or even with the same meal, dress it up differently, to keep your child interested. If your toddler usually imitates you or your spouse, then at mealtimes eat the food that you made for him and show him how much you relish it. This might prompt your child to finish the portion on his plate.
Another thing you can do is to let your child eat by himself. At that age, your baby is trying hard to be independent. It makes your child feel all grown up and let’s face it, its always a plus if your child can eat by himself.
Make mealtimes enjoyable for your toddler. Praise him about eating right, being a good child, and generally keep the atmosphere light and fun. If everyone at the table is having a good time, these vibes will help your toddler relax and enjoy his meal too.
Also, before you press the panic button, bear in mind that all your two-year old needs is about one and a half good meals in the day. So if he has a poor breakfast but eats lunch well and nibbles some of his dinner, he is good to go.
Of course, in some situations, parents do have cause for concern. For instance, if your child is repeatedly refusing all his meals all the time, then you do need to get him treated as soon as possible. On the whole, you really don't have to worry about your child's picky or fussy eating habits because given time your child will eventually and definitely grow out of it.