Bringing an infant into this world is one of the most joyous, overwhelming, and blissful moments one can face and experience in their lives. Whether you’re doing the parenting thing solo or with a partner, nutrition is a concern we as parents must keep in mind for the welfare of our children.
As our little rugrats transition from drooling blobs to toddler tornadoes, it's not uncommon for them to hit some speed bumps in the realm of eating. Their developing bodies, insatiable appetites, and changing nutritional needs are all concerns we need to place within the spotlight.
Let's begin by shedding light on the most basic issue;
Being Picky Eaters; Toddlers, much like my own, start developing their own eating preferences, they will reject certain kinds of foods, colors, tastes, and even consistency. If it's too grainy, it’ll be an issue; if it’s too liquidy, it'll be an issue; and so on. As a parent, you may find this to be quite stressful, but let's try to see it from their point of view.
Such desires arise from simple characteristics such as the will to be independent, the smell may be too strong (sensory), and there may even be a fear of eating foods they haven’t seen or been in contact with.
To address picky eating, we suggest the following; involving toddlers in their meal planning by showing them a variety of food options to choose from; keeping calm; and making sure the environment at mealtimes is a chill and happy atmosphere.
These weaning wonders have been a total lifesaver for me and my little lion cub. And let me tell you, the squirrel feeding set is the lion's roar in our household. With 3 dividers, I get to be the cool mom and offer up a triple threat of tasty toddler-approved treats. It's a win-win situation, my little one gets to choose and feel like a boss, while I get to feel like a culinary mastermind. #momgoals
Changes in Appetite; You may have noticed a change in your toddler’s day to day appetite. They’re eating like it's Thanksgiving one day and pushing their plate away like it's full of broccoli the next? Don't worry, it's all part of the toddler game. These tiny humans are growing at lightning speed, which can make their appetite unpredictable. Plus, they're starting to develop their own tastes and preferences (cue the eye roll at anything green). As parents, we need to listen to their little bellies and trust their cues - they might surprise you with what they're craving.
I've got a little trick up my sleeve for keeping my little one's appetite in check. I always fill up these 2-in-1 sippy cups with his go-to snack, the infamous Coco Pops, and I make sure he knows it's securely stashed by his side, so he won't go hungry throughout the day.
By incorporating coloring mats during meal times, we were able to provide a distraction for our toddler, allowing him to color while we fed him or giving him his time and space to eat while coloring. This technique maintained his interest and anticipation during mealtime. Additionally, these coloring mats are reusable and can easily have any marks or spots erased with a simple wipe, damp cloth, or wet tissue.
It's essential to recognize that each child is unique, and this approach may not be effective for every child. It's crucial to actively listen to your child, give them the appropriate attention, remain calm and persistent, and not give up.
Repetition Of The Same Food; Don't worry if your little tyke becomes obsessed with a certain food or meal - it's totally normal! But you should be mindful, if that one food is lacking in necessary nutrients, it could throw your kiddo's diet off balance. Here are a few ways to address this concern;
- First off, why not showcase a variety of culinary delights for them to choose from?
- Secondly, try reintroducing them to old favorites. And if push comes to shove, we can always resort to good old fashioned bargaining - gotta love a good deal, am I right? (laughing emoji).
On a serious note, you could make a rewards chart for your little one. If they listen to you, try something new to eat, or switch up their usual meal routine (like swapping chicken nuggets for fries, rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, etc.), you could reward them with an extra 10 minutes of TV time or stay up past their bedtime for a while. They could even choose their own dessert after dinner! It's a win-win situation for the both of you.
Keep that variety flowing, parents, and don't be afraid to shake things up. Your picky eater will thank you in the long run!
The One Where Our Toddlers Shift To Solid Foods;
How we fear change is as dramatic as a toddler’s first bites of solid sustenance after a trusted liquid diet. Through both personal experience and anecdotes from my social circle, I have discovered that young children often encounter challenges when transitioning to solid foods. The unfamiliar textures of food, which may be coarse or chewy, can prove unsettling for them initially. Nonetheless, this issue can be solved by methodically introducing age-appropriate foods that embrace an array of colors and flavors.
But hey, don't forget that each toddler is unique in their own way, so their eating habits will also vary. To tackle this hurdle with your little kiddo, just relax, take your time, stay determined, keep it steady, and make sure mealtimes are a fun and joyful experience!
If you are concerned that your toddler may be exhibiting unfavorable reactions to food, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a medical expert or qualified nutritionist. Their expert knowledge can offer tailored advice and support to address significant challenges relating to your child's development or dietary requirements.
BB's blog is here to save the day and help you calm your mind about your little one's eating habits! We hope you get to relax and worry a little less about mealtime with your toddler. Get ready to say goodbye to stress and hello to a happier and healthier family dynamic!