As anyone who has ever cared for a toddler can tell you; feeding a toddler is a challenge. Here'll you'll find some helpful tips to make make things just a little easier.
Toddler thrive on routines, even when it comes to snack and mealtimes. Providing a regular routine will help your child eat better.
Make Mealtimes Pleasant
Toddlers eat at their own pace and to their own tastes. The best thing you can do here is be respectful of your toddler's own eating pace which certainly is never in time with our own. Be supportive and never forceful. Remember that for toddlers, eating is still a time for learning: a time to touch and experience different foods...so let them take enough time - as much as 20 to 30 minutes, if needed.
Sit with your toddler while he or she eats. They love the company. Your toddler will probably feel more comfortable in a highchair where they are at your level with their feet supported, not dangling.
Don't Force A Toddler To Eat
If your toddler refuses to eat, let him/her know it's okay, but that they have to sit with the family or the other children while they eat so you can all spend time together. In time your child will tend to join in. Worse case scenario....snack time is only a couple of hours away and he/she may be hungry then.
Resist the temptation to offer your child food inbetween meal and snack time, particularly if they don't eat when everyone else does. Children need to learn about limits and will soon learn that if they don't eat at the designated times, they'll just have to wait.
Keep the mood positive however. When you remove your child from the table or highchair, let them know that snack time will be in an hour or two and you hope that they are hungry then. Throwing out negative messages about the child's eating will only cause frustration for everyone and often ends up with the child whining or crying. he or she will soon learn from the chain of events that being hungry between lunch and snack time is a consequence of his/her own actions.
Be Realistic About Amounts
Offer smaller portions to start and let your child ask for more. This lets the child feel as though he or she has more control rather than you trying to force him or her to eat more which generall causes conflict.
Limit the Juice and Milk
Too much juice of milk between meals can fill a toddler up so he/she is not hungry at meal time. Offer water or watered down juice instead.
Let Your To Be Messy
Playing and experimenting wddlerith food is a toddler right of passage. They have a natural curiosity about new foods and will often play with them before eating. Unless things get really messy or the child starts throwing food on the floor, let him or her enjoy the time. After all, we want children to learn to eat, but we also want them to learn to be pleasant at mealtimes.