Little Routines, Gillian Stewart

Toddlers and Food!
Gillian Stewart, Sunday, February 12, 2017

Guess what....research now shows that you don't need to feel quite so guilty when your toddler only wants to eat certain food types!

It is now suggested that children's fussy food habits are largely down to who they are and the genes they inherit.
Phew! Well not quite....
You CAN change your child's behaviour and habits when it comes to food.

I do think that it is really important to remember that it can take at least fifteen times of offering a certain food to your child before they will taste it.

Toddlers are notorious for being extremely fickle with their eating. Foods they seem to really enjoy one day will be refused the next day.
If you only give the foods that you know your child  will eat, when suddenly they decide not to eat them, what will you do? Resort to 'treats'..?

I have listed my tips to help meal times run smoothly...

1. Involve your child with the food shopping and preparing where possible.
2. Don't do a big build up to meal times.
3. Whenever possible, eat with your child at the table.
4. Meals should be fun and sociable.
5. Avoid intense one to one food talk.
6. Make the food look interesting.
7. Serve small portions so as not to overwhelm your child.
8. Use appropriate sized crockery & cutlery and a colourful place mat.
9. Avoid too many snacks in between meals as your child needs to be hungry at each     mealtime.
11. Remember that large drinks before a meal can fill your child up.
12. Don't make a fuss and draw too much attention to food that is left on the plate.
13. Some encouragement is a good idea but never force food.
14. Let your child try food from your plate, even if it's the same as theirs..apparently it tastes better!
15. Try not to worry if they refuse to eat certain foods, just offer it on another occasion.
16. Offer lots and lots of variety, colour, texture and tastes.
17. Allow your child to use their hands to eat. Children learn through all their senses.
18. Don't expect your child to sit for too long at the table. Once finished, move on!
19. Always keep calm and positive.
20. Smile, tomorrow is another day!

Please remember that children will eat when they are hungry. Some of the fussiest toddlers turn into real 'foodies' when they are older.