Bringing up a child is no child’s play. Especially if you are bringing up a toddler, you will be at your wits end scouting ways to feed them nutritious and wholesome food without actually losing your own appetite and sleep too. Not to mention a few inches running from pillar to post after them.
Picture this. You go through hundreds of you-tube videos, looking for recipes that were not only healthy but also yummy so that your little one would relish it. After a hard day of work and lots of special efforts and special effects (making the food visually appealing), you finally present that perfect dish to your child... they stare at it with astonishment. If you are lucky they may have a bite. If you have been bitten by the bad luck bug the plate might just go flying in the air and your ambitions land straight into the bin.
It is said that the first food a child picks up by themselves usually goes on to become their favourite food for a long time after that. Of course there are good days and bad days. But there are some mothers who would do anything in the world to make their little ones to eat. Here are a few tips to help you manage your naughty picky eaters!
1. Rainbow Plate
Babies and toddlers are attracted towards bright colours and most of them have the habit of staring at their food. Why not entice them with colourful fruits and vegetables. You can use dough cutters to cut them in different shapes and sizes.
You can tell stories to your child and give a name to the foods so they find it exciting. For eg. Mr Appy Pappy (Apple) or Mr Tom for Tomato.
2. Go Smooth!
If your toddler is not really in the mood to eat, take it easy. No way are we suggesting you let them off the hook. Instead of forcing them to eat, you can introduce them to smoothies.
Avoid chocolate powders as they are loaded with sugar. There are other ways to develop a taste for milk. Get hold of some fresh fruits, yogurt, rolled oats and blend it.
3. Me Time:
Toddlers love toying with food. It is there way of exploring and learning. Do not curb that. Give them some ‘me-time’ with food. Don’t guide them simply observe them. Don’t hover over them as it makes them conscious. Once you get to know which food they like, you can make those in different varieties.
4. Easy to reach
If you want kids to eat certain foods like fruits or nuts, keep them in sight. When your child will look around to find something to nibble, they will find healthy options. If they find junk food like chips and biscuits easily, that is what they will end up picking up.
5. Let Go:
Sometimes it’s completely okay for your child to not eat. Let them explore their hunger pangs instead of you dictating timings to eat. Whenever they feel genuinely hungry, they will reach out to food and even eat well. Make sure, food accessible to them whenever they are hungry.
Remember, you are feeding a toddler and not an adult. Let them be. Your child may not be able to eat everything at once. Make your child fall in love with the ritual of eating instead of scaring them and bounding them to a time-table. Cherish little victories and applaud them for their choices.