Adapted from Snotty Noses
Life with toddlers can be tough in so many ways, especially when they won’t eat. It is difficult for them as well as parents. They are transitioning from ‘baby’ to ‘big boy or girl’ and they have SO much to learn, especially rules, communication and language skills. It’s difficult for everyone and on top of that, their eating habits change and suddenly you have a toddler who won’t eat.
They change from ‘baby who eats everything’ to toddler who shouts “NO!” and shoves their plates away. Cups, plates, forks, spoons go flying whilst parents silently (or not so silently) scream in exasperation.
This is normal toddler behavior. It is frustrating but normal.
- Be Patient. It’s difficult to stay calm in the face of a screaming toddler but remember you are not alone. All toddlers scream and shout. That is normal.
- Keep presenting new and healthy food. It takes time for children to accept a new food. The first time they see it, they probably won’t like it. You just need to keep presenting it. (The norm is 10-15 times but some children take longer.)
- Toddlers tastes can change. They may love something one day and then hate it the next. Likewise, something they have turned their nose up at may become their favorite food tomorrow. See tip #2.
- Let them feed themselves. It’s frustrating and messy but exploring food is a great way for them to learn about the food and to learn how to feed themselves. If they ask for a bit of help that’s fine too.
- Don’t pressure them. Toddlers, like most people, don’t like to be told what to do. It will only serve to make them more stubborn. (There is lots of evidence that pressuring children to eat has adverse affects.)
For tips 6-10, visit the Snotty Noses website