If your toddler is a fussy eater when you feed him/her, the reason could be because young children enjoy eating by themselves. Most often, we don’t allow them to do so wary of the mess they make while trying to feed themselves. But, learning to eat independently is an essential skill that you need to teach your toddler from a young age.
Self-feeding takes some time and here’s how you can help your toddler learn better.
Nothing compares to having a family meal
Try making the whole family come together for at least one meal a day with your toddler. During such times, eat the same food as you give your toddler. Your child will learn to feed himself/herself faster when he/she sees the whole family eating on their own.
Children don’t like to be coaxed
Although it is okay to tell your children to feed themselves, don’t push them too hard. Be patient and don’t try to force it on your child. Let your toddler learn it at his/her own pace. And most importantly, avoid insisting that they finish their plate by stuffing more food into their mouth. This may result in overfeeding or making them anxious about food.
Variety is the key
Children tend to get bored easily. Try offering different types of meals to your child. For lunch and dinner, provide a savoury course that is followed by nutritious desserts such as fruits. Give him/her different types of fruits and vegetables each day.
Bribing can become a habit
Don’t bribe your children with their favourite food every time they feed themselves. This will make them lean more towards sweet or savoury depending on their liking and avoiding the rest. Make sure your child is eating both savoury and sweet in order to maintain a balanced diet.
Say no to distractions
Keep your toddler away from distractions like television, toys, pets and games. This will make him/her concentrate more on them rather than learning how to self-feed. However, try to relax your child as much as possible by letting them have fun with food.
Follow these simple steps and watch your toddler self-feed in no time.