Ideas Why Your Toddler is Not Eating
There’s nothing more frustrating for a parent than when their toddler gets into a pattern of not eating. Whether it’s a sudden dislike for a previous favourite, limiting their intake to beige foods only, or refusing to let anything pass their lips, toddler eating problems like these can be seriously stressful.
But, rest assured, refusing to eat is normal behaviour for a toddler – sometimes. What’s not normal, however, is if your toddler is refusing to eat almost all the time.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your toddler isn’t eating and what you can do about it.
Desire for Independence
If you’re still spoon-feeding your toddler, allowing them more independence at mealtimes could help. Serve up finger foods like sticks of cucumber, avocado, or boiled carrot so they can feel more in control, or give them their own bamboo and silicone spoon and let them tuck into a stew or puree. Trust us, they’re far more likely to eat everything on their plate if they’re the ones in charge!
Uncomfortable Dining Experience
Curious little ones don’t like sitting down for too long, meaning that getting toddlers to eat is only half the battle. A comfortable high chair can help, so make sure that the cushion is soft, the back is supportive, and the tray table is well-positioned.
Also, one way to fulfil their desire to fidget and explore is to place a long rubber band around their high chair. This serves as a flexible footrest which they can move around when they start to get bored.
Boredom, this time relating to food repetition, is another common cause of toddler eating problems. Few of us enjoy eating the same foods day in, day out and toddlers are no different. Make sure to try different recipes every few weeks, both to avoid boredom and introduce your child to new food combinations.
Fear of the Unknown
While you might think that a boiled egg is a perfect food for toddlers, to your child it may look, feel, or taste weird. The inconsistency of fruit and veg can be another cause of toddler eating problems, who may prefer to play it safe with foods they know and trust.
Experiment with different ways to present the same foods. For example, you could cook them a plain omelette instead of a boiled egg. And. make sure to sample produce before you serve it to avoid giving your child a bad food experience.
One final possibility is that your toddler could be refusing to eat due to ill health. A loss of appetite can be a symptom of both temporary issues like viruses or constipation as well as more long-term conditions like allergies. Make sure to talk to your child’s paediatrician to get to the bottom of it.
Understanding Why Your Toddler Is Not Eating
As frustrating as it is to keep making and serving foods that your toddler ends up not eating, it’s important not to let toddler eating problems create tension in your home.
Instead, try the tactics we’ve suggested and your child’s appetite for eating healthy food will soon return.
Here at eco rascals, our mission is to make mealtimes more fun for children and parents alike.