How Do I Get My Child To Eat?
Oh boy! Eating and a toddler don’t go in the same sentence. Remember around the age of 1 when you first started to introduce solids and them pretty much eating anything you put in front of them? Those were the good old days. They didn’t know what was going on #1 and when they see food they eat it. Ya, maybe they would spit out the occasional pureed black beans. Wouldn’t you? They are new to eating real food and are as much excited about it as you are.
I’m going to give you a few tips for getting your child to eat that have helped me along the way with my own and things that I did and didn’t want to do because they were done to me as a child.
#1. Don’t force it. Would you like to be forced to eat something? Remember as a child you couldn’t leave the dinner table without finishing all your dinner? That was miserable for everybody. If you haven’t been through it already, you’ll soon go through the stage where your child refuses to eat anything you place in front of them. At this point, they are trying to be in charge. This is where a little negotiation comes in. They don’t have to eat all of it, just a few bites. Even if it’s 3 bites of one item and 2 of another. This way they know they need to eat and you’re not forcing it on them.
#2. Like the books suggest, introduce foods slowly. Yes, the books are right about this one. The real reason behind this is due to allergies. Just because you and your family don’t have a particular food allergy, doesn’t mean your child won’t. Food allergies are so common now, that we really need to pay close attention to any changes when introducing a new food. This goes for babies and toddlers. When you do introduce a food, wait a few days until trying a new one. Many allergies don’t show immediate reactions. It could take a few days and sometimes they won’t have a reaction now, but can in a few years.
#3. Let children eat what they like. Most children don’t like vegetables. There are the occasional ones that will be born loving them and I wish I knew how. Even eating them while pregnant, my children snubbed at the first sight of a vegetable. Now at the ages of 4 and 2, they won’t go near any and that’s ok. I have heard a lot of stories where the parent made their child eat a certain type of food and now they won’t eat it as an adult. Everyone has their own taste and love for certain foods. Please let them decide if they want to eat it or not. More than likely they will try it down the road and love it. If they will only eat fries, let them eat fries. I’d rather my child eat something than nothing. Once you force something on them they won’t forget it. That makes trying new things that more difficult.
#4. Make eating fun. Kids like to laugh and have fun right? They also like to have fun things to eat. Those dinosaur chicken nuggets are a life saver. My kids (being boys) like to make the dinosaurs fight then eat them. They also like different shapes and pictures. It makes dinner more fun for them and more likely for them to eat something they normally wouldn’t. You’ll be finding yourself making an airplane and flying it into your child’s mouth to get them to eat it.
Those are a few tips that I can give you about getting your child to eat. There is no guide to this. Kids much like adults, will choose what they like and don’t like. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.
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