If your toddler is the calm type that eats food with little fuss, then consider yourself lucky; the feeding gods are definitely smiling upon you. Feeding times for toddlers is definitely among the top trying moments for most parents. Many approach it with fear and trepidation as the whole process, more often than not, is time consuming, messy, fraught with shameless bribery and teary outbursts (and this is not restricted just to the kids!).
In case you find yourself in the frustrating cycle above, do not panic. There are definitely a few tricks you can pull to make feeding time less stressful, enjoyable, practical and nutritious for your little one. Consider the following:
Toddlers are like sponges. They pick up on even the smallest things. So why not use this to your advantage and lead by example. Let them see you eat the same thing that they are eating. This way, your toddler does not find the eating experience foreign and once he/she sees that other people enjoy their meals, they may not be so averse to it.
Believe it or not, children not only need, but also respond well to structure. So be keen to have set times for meals as this is less confusing for them. Try to incorporate the entire family or as many as are available to eat together during meal times.
Play with the law of attraction
Research shows that children are drawn to bright colours. It makes them happy and cannot resist interacting with them. Include pieces of brightly coloured vegetables and fruits such as carrots and tomatoes to pique their interest. Switch it up as often as you can to maintain their interest. Use the small pieces to create characters, for instance, happy faces, animals, and balls and so on to make the process interesting.
Make it tasty
Most people would be hard-pressed to eat bland food. Why do you think it would be any different with your child? In the event you have misgivings about spices and additives, then stick to herbs. They are natural, add that extra zing to food and have awesome health benefits. It’s win-win all round.
If your child is old enough to help around with small things, then why not include them in the feeding process. Let them pick what fruits and vegetables they want to eat, the ingredients to add and even share the meal to show just how big of a deal the meal is. They will learn new things, boost their confidence and gain a sense of responsibility.