What to do if your toddler won’t eat
You must be the most frustrated when it is mealtime for your toddler. Having tried coaxing, pleading, and bargaining, they still won’t eat. Leave them alone? No way. Children grow slower after baby time, but they still need food for nutrition. Are there any useful tips to solve the issue?
Picky eating phase
It is important to know that kids will experience a “picky eating phase” roughly from 12 months to 18 months when they typically refuse everything in front of them or only stick to a few options of food. The first reason can be that your toddlers become much more interested in the world around them, which will influence their appetite accordingly. The other reason is that they naturally need less food after their growth peak during their first year of life.
Luckily, most kids will pass through this period easily and become tolerant to more food. What you can do now is encourage them to take enough nutrition with some tactics.
Tips to encourage your toddler to eat
Make it a routine: Many parents like to make a separate seat for their toddler for meals, but toddlers may feel kind of different from the other family members. Instead, you should stay together at mealtimes and create a relaxed environment for eating. Don’t allow TV, phones, or any other electronics so that your toddler will pay more attention to their food.
Encourage independence: Allow your toddlers some independence and make them feel happier to eat. Let them join in the preparation of food, like simply shaking or stirring the food as a game. Once the meal is done, allow them to touch, lick and smell it. They’ll be excited and can’t help for eat!
Be creative: Toddlers are always easily attracted by meals that are made or presented in novel ways, so just be creative. You can arrange the food into a smiley face or another image, use cookie cutters for interesting food shapes, or even let your toddler play with the food before eating for a short time.
Go to the doctor’s if necessary
Though picky eating is normal in most cases, you need to go to the doctor’s if you find your toddler behaving like below:
- 1. only accepts a few foods and refuse certain food groups for a long time
- 2. respond dramatically to foods they don’t like
- 3. refuse food in social situations
- 4. any other behaviors that are likely to affect your toddler’s nutrition