It is very common to have fussy eaters, especially for toddlers. That is why it’s very important to instill good eating habits early on in your children’s lives. It might not seem easy or that necessary but trust me early training can help you out once they start growing up.
Variety is Key
Once it is age-appropriate for your little ones to consume a little variety of foods, use this chance to introduce as many new kinds of foods to them as you can. Different flavours, textures, smells, shapes and colours will help get them used to having different kinds of foods and not be picky
even when they grow older. Remember to keep some gap between the introductions of these new foods.
Balance their quantities
Instead of forcing your child to finish everything on their plate, introduce the practice of second-helpings. Start off with a smaller portion of food, then if they like it and would like to have more give them a little more. Don’t cut their food in chunks or bite-sized pieces because they pose as a choking hazard. Either cut it into extremely tiny pieces or cut them into thin strips which will be safe and also interesting for them. This lets them realise their own capacity and eventually when they grow up they wouldn’t waste food.
Gradually reduce Milk consumption
Although it is completely up to the mother and their baby when they decide to reduce or stop breastfeeding, most Paediatric Professionals and major organizations like the World Health Organization suggest that after the first six months breastfeeding should be gradually reduced with the introduction of solid foods. After their first birthday, it should go down from a bottle to a cup so that they have more room for more solid foods. This helps them widen their palate and become more independent when it comes to feeding time.
For most mothers, especially working moms it gets difficult to run after your child to feed them and it’s simply easier to distract them with a phone or television to get them to settle down and eat their food. But, this is not a very advisable practice. If you get your toddlers into the habit of eating their food without any distractions early on in their lives, it impacts their habits later on as well. It might not be easy at first but keep trying, after all practice makes perfect.
Let them Eat as they can
After they are able to consume more than breast milk and eat more solid foods, place their food in front of them and let them have at it. It will be extremely messy at first and will require a lot of time before they can start putting even one bite into their mouth properly but the end result will be that your children will be able to learn how to eat with their own hands extremely early on, which will then make it easier for them to learn table manners and etiquettes as well as save you the burden of having to make them eat their food well into their early years.