Marriage & Family

Common toddler mealtime problems and tips to overcome them

a fussy Asian child at mealtime Image Credits:

Mummies, daddies, and grandparents, we salute you. Parenting and grandparenting are never easy tasks, and each passing minute can be a struggle if you can’t seem to find a suitable method.

Folks currently looking after their child or grandchild, you will quickly agree that there are toddler mealtime problems that require solutions. Allow us to identify some of these common issues and share with you tips to overcome them!

Food is always all over the floor

Toddlers are usually defined as children aged one to three. For young kids like that, it’s easy to be faced with a mess if they’re left alone during mealtime.

Do not be too quick to raise your voice because your little one’s coordination isn’t fully developed just yet. Be glad that they are attempting to feed themselves, albeit a little messy. A quick tip would be to place a plastic sheet right below their high chair or at the dining area so you won’t have to worry about the floor being greasy during clean-up time.

Sitting still is out of the question
a child running away during mealtime

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Is your toddler too fidgety and always wandering around during mealtimes? Children who are aged two and above may find sitting still a challenge.

But now’s the age to introduce mealtime routines to make your life a little easier going forward. The last thing you want to do is shout and scream and justify it as a style of discipline. Also, turning on YouTube videos to keep your child occupied should be a last resort. To make eating time an enjoyable activity, chat with your child and watch them respond to you.

Taking their own sweet time

Child-rearing is definitely not a walk in the park. Likening the process to a warzone is as accurate as it can be. We know that you don’t have all the time in the world to watch your toddlers eat for an hour. Hence, set time limits.

For a good gauge, mealtimes for these littles ones should not exceed 20 minutes. Some children like to “store” food in their mouths without slowing. A gentle nudge every five minutes is a proper habit to instil for such kids. Remind them in advance before their 20 minutes is up, so they are aware that it’s time to quicken the pace and finish their serving.

Fussy over certain foods
a child refusing to eat vegetables

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As we come to a close, be aware that even adults are fussy over certain foods like vegetables. However, keeping it entirely out of their diet is also not advisable. There are two ways to approach this problem.

First up, you can slowly introduce these foods in small portions. Shower your compliments generously when they manage to eat them. If it doesn’t work on your child, you may try to blend these greens and mix them up with their favourite foods. Be careful not to overdo it since certain food smells in large quantities can be overpowering for a young one.

Mealtimes don’t have to be a struggle if you can heed the above advice. Try it and improvise along the way to see if it works for you?

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