Hi there, mamas and papas. An overwhelmed mom wrote in with a myriad of questions concerning her 22 month old toddler. This mama is straddling a two-year old toddler who is not eating and a fussy baby. Mama, I don’t envy you. Remember that this too shall pass. Don’t give up! Here are some strategies for keeping your toddler happy, stimulated, and (ideally) filled with nutritious food.
Toddler Won’t Eat
There is one classic mantra when it comes to picky eaters: introduce, introduce, introduce. We parents stop introducing because it is just exhausting to see our children pitch fits. It’s also wasteful to have to toss away food. So to placate our children, we start giving them what they ask for. This is where the trouble starts because children who are picky eaters get less and less accustomed to seeing things they do not like.
In our house, we do not follow the restaurant model. No child gets to choose what they would like to eat. Rather, dinner is dinner and if you don’t eat pretty much all of it, you are not getting dessert. Some folks don’t agree with this classic approach, but this has pretty much worked for me. We usually do some sort of meat dish (beef, chicken or fish), rice or pasta, veggies, and then some sort of dried beans that we boil until they become a soft mash. We top it off with fruit and milk. On a good night, my kids get a bit of ice cream or a brownie. My kids are all pretty thin so I’m fine with giving them dessert, but check with your doctor as to what your approach should be.
So long story short, when you keep introducing healthy foods and your children home home hungry from school, and you are not caving and giving them a more limited range of less nutritious foods, you will ultimately win the food battle. Your kids will come around.
Mamas and papas, please write in with whatever tips you have regarding picky eaters and thanks so much for watching.