Is Your Toddler Not Eating? Here are a Few Ideas and Tips
Do you often worry because your toddler is not eating enough healthy food? Many other parents share the same worries especially because they’re also concerned about their children’s health and overall wellbeing.
It’s vital that kids get enough nutrients to support their physical and cognitive development (as well as get enough energy for learning and playtime). However, that’s impossible if they don’t eat enough amounts whether they’re fussy about what to eat, they refuse to eat at all or if in case they eat they just consume tiny amounts.
The first thing to do
First, it’s just natural for your child to act that way. Toddlers still have very small stomachs and there are huge fluctuations in their activities and appetites. Also, distractions are plenty and often they’re more interested in other things than what’s the food in front of them.
It’s also possible that your child is starting to show his/her independence. Toddlers at one point or another will show how independent they are. They want to have options and show some control over what they eat and do (e.g. they start to get fussy about what to eat).
After you understand that this is just a natural phase, the next thing to do is to make sure that what you prepare or serve is always healthy. Even if your child doesn’t eat much today, it won’t have much effect because you ensure that what he/she eats is always healthy. Also, it’s very likely that in the course of a normal week, he/she will consume reasonable amounts in total. For instance, he/she might eat less today and then eat more for the succeeding days.
How to ensure consistency and healthy eating
But as a parent, it’s not enough to understand that this is just a natural phase (and one way or another your child will still eat). From time to time you’ll worry because you know how important healthy eating is to your child’s optimal physical and brain development.
How do you ensure consistency then? How can you help ensure that your child is still getting everything he/she needs to support his/her growth and energy requirements?
Aside from always preparing healthy meals and snacks for your child, it also helps to ensure that eating is always a positive experience. You can accomplish this by sitting and eating with your toddler as much as possible. Make mealtimes a regular and happy social occasion that your child can always look forward to.
Another way to ensure that your child is getting the nutrients he/she requires is to check what meals and snacks are being prepared and served at the early learning centre. For example here at Star Academy Kids Early Learning Centre we have developed menus in accordance with the Munch & Move Program (an NSW Health initiative that supports the healthy development of children birth to 5 years by promoting physical activity, healthy eating and reduced small screen time).
Contact us today if you want to learn more about our healthy nutritional meals (and alternative meals we prepare for kids who have allergies and special dietary and cultural requirements).