Is your child a fussy eater? Does he or she never seem to eat enough “good foods”? Or do they regularly reject the food you prepare for them, leaving you tired and frustrated? Don’t worry for you are not alone!
A relaxed approach is needed Family meal times can often resemble battle zones due to the “fussy eating” habits of toddlers and young children. The stress experienced in continually trying to encourage children to eat a well balanced diet is a common dilemma to many parents.
Some children appear not to eat enough and others just won’t eat the variety parents would like them to. Many children “graze” throughout the day and won’t sit down to eat a hot, wholesome dinner. Relax- a calm approach is needed!!
Parent anxiety over mealtimes can make it harder to encourage children to eat a healthy meal. Punishing, bribing or forcing a child to eat the amount of food that you may think he/she should, can result in damage of your relationship with your child and lead to unhealthy eating habits and practices later in life.
Food and mealtimes should be an enjoyable, social, family occasion. So stop the fight! A healthy child will eat when he/she is hungry. Toddlers have periods when their growth slows down for a while, during which time, they will eat less.
Slowing down on growth Finicky eaters will not starve, they always eat just enough for their bodies needs.
If they don’t eat much today they will tomorrow or the next day. If they eat one good meal a day be happy, that will be adequate.
Many toddlers manage small, frequent meals say around six times a day better than 3 big ones. As long as the snacks are healthy foods, high in nutrition e.g. pieces of cheese, fruit, carrot, hard-boiled eggs, dried fruits etc.