Better nutrition for toddlers! How to get toddlers to eat at meal times, eat a balanced diet, avoid excessive snacking and enjoy their meals.
Toddlers begin to gain control over their bodies and have private opinions for their choices. Parents have to start treating them as growing individuals and respect their choices. A toddler feels in control over what he chooses to eat and will definitely exercise this option. He starts to become a "picky eater" or "fussy eater". His appetite is smaller than an infant's as his body doesn't grow that fast.
Parents who try to force feed the child may make him more stubborn. The better way would be to offer alternatives that are equivalent in nutritional value. Toddlers appreciate the freedom of making choices. You can actually dupe him by getting him to eat the alternative food. Cereal is cereal; be it rice or oatmeal. Sometimes, variety is needed to make meals interesting.
Its quite all right for a toddler to miss a meal if he refuses to eat. He'll be asking you for food when he's hungry.Sometimes, it may seem that he misses out on meats at certain meals. Its no cause for concern as he's likely to strike a balance by eating that category of food at another meal.
Toddlers love to feed themselves.They make food messes due to the immaturity of their manual dexterity. Don't make a fuss out of it. Encourage his independence by praising his efforts at self-feeding. See if there's a need to get him a smaller set of cutlery for him to manage. Include some finger foods for him to practice his motor skills.Toddlers love eating when its fun for them. The hands-on experience of finger foods is exciting. Parents may alternate the menu between meals that require cutlery and finger food meals.
Toddlers have small stomachs and eat small portions at a time. Allow for healthy snacks like plain crackers, fruit, milk, cheese or sandwiches. Give sugary treats only on special occasions. Never overload tummies with a continuous stream of snacks as this spoils the appetite for the next meal. Toddlers need to understand the word "No" to excessive demands for any type of food. Letting the kid to hungry may teach him to accept what is offered to him readily in future.