Toddlers are unpredictable. Loving, funny and adorable as they might be, they can also be fussy, difficult and downright frustrating at times. The dinner table is one of their favourite places to stage a meltdown, and if you’re dealing with the infamous ‘fussy eater’, this battle might occur on a regular basis.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with a fussy eater is that this problem is extremely common, and not something to panic about. Plenty of factors can influence your toddler’s appetite, from teething and illness to a growing sense of independence. The problem will pass, and it’s unlikely that your toddler’s fussy eating will make any major impact on their health.
If you’re struggling to get your toddler to try new foods there are a few approaches you can try:
- Approach them with the new food earlier in the day, when they’re in a good mood and have plenty of energy, rather than during a tired spell.
- Get them involved in the preparation process. Toddlers love to feel included, and they might be more willing to taste something if they’ve helped make it themselves.
- Share your food. Toddlers often want to taste what’s on your plate, so make a big portion of something you’re happy for both of you to eat, and then offer them bites from your portion.
- Keep trying. While getting variety into your toddler’s diet may seem like an impossible feat, they’ll often accept the food after the first few attempts.
- Resist the urge to give up. Many parents get tired of arguing at mealtimes and resort to feeding their toddler the same plain foods every day. While it’s always good to have a back-up plan of an old favourite meal, you should keep offering new foods, or risk making the problem even worse down the line.