Having a toddler with difficulty eating is a problem that almost every parent in the world has. Don’t blame yourself for this situation. Directly find ways to overcome these conditions, for example by doing the following tips.
Toddlers are part of childhood when your little one is happy to explore his world, including determining the foods he likes and dislikes. When a child refuses to eat, he is actually starting to practice independence.
Nevertheless, parents certainly cannot stay silent when the child does not want to eat because it will have an impact on their health. Not infrequently, you have to rack your brain to find a way for your child to eat.
Signs of toddlers having difficulty eating
A toddler having difficulty eating doesn’t just mean he doesn’t want to eat at all. Instead, the child will show a specific attitude when he is offered food that must be devoured, such as:
- Do not want to eat food that has a certain color or texture
- Only want to eat certain foods for a few days
- Do not want to try new food variations
- Refuse food that used to be his favorite
- Only want to eat with certain cutlery or even use your hands.
- Shut your mouth when you are fed with food
Why is it hard for toddlers to eat?
Many parents are worried when toddlers find it difficult to eat. There are several reasons why your child does this, namely:
- Messy eating hours
- The appetite of each child is different, depending on age and the activities they do
- Toddlers are no longer experiencing a phase of rapid growth, unlike babies during growth spurt
- The stomach size of a toddler is still small, unlike older children
- Focused toddlers are still easily distracted by things that are happening around them so they don’t focus too much on food
- Toddlers want to show that they can also be independent by determining the food they want to consume or not.
Sometimes, toddlers find it difficult to eat is also caused by certain health problems, such as toothache, sore throat, diarrhea, or even constipation that makes the stomach feel bad. If the child can already be talked to, try asking your child directly the reason for not wanting to eat.
Whatever the reason for toddlers to have difficulty eating, parents should not just give up. Always make sure you provide healthy food and let your child choose the food he wants.
Tips for overcoming a difficult toddler to eat
Overcoming difficult toddlers to eat must be based on the cause. However, basically, there are several strategies you can try to revive a child’s appetite, for example:
1. Offer finger food
This offer is intended so that he can channel his independence by feeding his own chosen food to the mouth. Make sure finger food is not prone to make your child choke.
2. Don’t give the lure
Offering a gift if the child wants to eat might be seen as a decent gift for your child. However, child practitioners consider this will create an unhealthy eating atmosphere for the child’s psychology.
3. Eat with children
When your child sees you or his brother eating, his appetite can also increase. Especially if you or your brother eat with gusto.
4. Still offer food that he refused
Toddlers need time to like new foods. So, don’t give up on offering food that he declined before.
5. Balance the fluid intake
Drinking too much fruit juice, especially a few moments before eating schedule will make it difficult for toddlers to eat. You should give fluids after children eat and give priority to water or milk.
6. Avoid sweet foods and junk food
Both of these foods do not contain the nutrients a toddler needs. Instead, give children nutritious food for optimal growth and development.
7. Set the meal time
Do not give food continuously, for example you have given breakfast at 8 o’clock in the morning, then at 9 o’clock in the morning you give snacks and at 10 you give milk, then do not expect he can eat at lunch because instead he was already full.
Parents also need to be good at reading children’s gestures. If he wants to play with his food, for example licking, squeezing, or stirring, leave it alone. When the child is playing, try putting 1-2 mouthfuls of food in his mouth.
If the child no longer wants to eat, feels tired, fussy, or is not feeling well, don’t force your child to continue eating. End the eating session and try again a few hours later or the next day.