Toddlers just like their tantrums can be unpredictable at times with their food intake. You may find your toddler one day eating every meal and snack offered all up and the next day, the complete opposite! A few tips to remember when feeding your toddler are:
- Introduce your toddler to similar foods that you and your family eat from a young age to get them used to different textures, flavours, prevent food aversions and to establish a positive relationship with food.
- Do not force your child to eat as this may interfere with their own natural internal regulation of knowing when they are hungry or full.
- As a parent it is up to you to provide safe, nutritious foods and up to your child how much they want to eat at the one time.
- Toddlers are likely to eat and learn to accept most foods if no other alternative is provided.
- Set a time limit for meals and snacks for e.g 30 minutes for main meals and 15-20 minutes for snacks. Once the time is up remove the leftover food and offer food once again at their next scheduled meal or snack.
- Provide water after a meal or snack not before as the water may decrease their appetite.
- Make the meal time environment positive. Do not become stressed if your toddler refusing to eat occasionally. Remember toddlers appetite can vary greatly. However if you do become concerned about your child’s nutritional intake always see your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.