6 ways to get a fussy toddler to eat
Toddlers are fussy little creatures, and picky eating is par for the course. Try these tricks which were published in Mother and Baby Magazine to help get your toddler to polish off everything on his plate
1. Favourite things
Start by offering your toddler his favourite foods, then gradually introduce other dishes alongside. Over time, new foods will make up the majority of his meals and he will only eat his favourites around once a week. But be careful not to overwhelm him with big portions – by keeping them small, he’ll feel a huge sense of achievement when he clears his plate.
2. Snack attack
Don’t buy snacks – if they’re not there, he can’t eat them and he'll be more likely to be hungry at mealtimes. Also, swapping fruit juice for water will help boost his appetite and the hungrier he is, the greater your chances of getting him to eat what you put in front of him.
3. Hidden gems
If you’re having real problems getting your tot to eat certain foods, particularly pulses and vegetables, try hiding them. Puree them, then mix into pasta sauces or add them to mashed potato – the chances are he’ll munch away, completely unaware that he’s getting lots of added vitamins.
4. All together now
Getting your toddler into a routine will help him to distinguish between playtimes and mealtimes, and sitting down at the table to eat as a family is the first step. Talk about your food and how grown up your little one is now that he’s eating the same food as mum and dad. He loves to copy you, and this is the perfect opportunity to encourage good eating habits.
5. Little chef
Encourage your little one to get involved in the kitchen. If he’s helping you cook, he’s more likely to want to try what he’s made. Start by making a pizza – cut up lots of different coloured vegetables and challenge him to put as many colours on the pizza as possible.
6. Round of applause
When your toddler does eat, give him lots of praise. He loves being in your good books, but make sure he knows exactly why you are praising him and that by eating all of his meal, especially the nutritious bits, he’s being a very good boy.