How to deal with food jags, food refusals, and more
Problems (and their solutions) for picky toddlers-
Is your toddler on a food jag? Eating one or a few types of food?
- Toddlers commonly go on food jags and want the same food day after day. Go with it; it will run its course and it won't hurt to be deficient in a few food groups for a few weeks.
- Toddlers are trying to establish independence or get attention. After a few weeks, you can vary the favorite food or menu slightly.
- Avoid feeding your toddler too often.
- Spacing meals and snacks at specific intervals are important so she will feel hungry. Some toddlers may fill up at one meal and cruise until empty.
- Serve simple foods to keep flavors fresh and true.
- Know it's okay if your child leaves food on his plate.
- Never force, pressure, or bribe your child to clean his plate. Stop the "Disease to Please." Toddlers have small tummies and short attention spans.
- When your child is hungry, he will eat and should NEVER be expected to eat to please you.
- Expect Toddler to object, reject, or complain about new or all food on his plate. Keep serving the new food periodically so you do not contribute to his pickiness.
- Toddlers may consistently refuse certain types of foods. Respect his preferences if they are strong and few. (You don't like everything either.)
- Introduce a sample of a new food when your toddler is hungriest–only one new food at a time.
- Offer a variety of easy-to-manage foods, but never bribe and do not create a power struggle if your child refuses to eat.
- Relax. Pushing your child to eat gives him negative attention and increases pickiness; worrying only makes things worse.
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