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Feeding your picky toddler – Part I
“Otherwise, Varoon is active and extremely alert but am really worried of his small eating portions. He hardly eats as much as his peers do.” - Now isn’t that a very commonly discussed topic between parents of picky toddlers. “We were never like this....we never had our mothers running after us persuasively with a bowl of ‘Daliya’ to be fed.”
For any parent struggling to cope up with an exploratory toddler, dramatizing the mealtime is so very common. It is perhaps a task in itself and some parents. We prepare all kinds of sensible meals composed of what we think is healthy, appealing food. Most of these offerings end up splattering - to make matters worse, we take our kids' rejection of our cuisine personally, sure that this is a sign of parental lapse on our part.
So! Here comes the basic questions - Why are toddlers such picky eaters?
Being a picky eater is part of what it means to be a toddler. It is a known fact, that there are developmental reasons why kids between 1 & 3 years of age poke at their food. After a year of rapid growth (the average 1-year-old has tripled their birth weight), toddlers gain weight more slowly. So, of course, they need less food. The fact that these little ones are always on the go also affects their eating patterns. They don't sit still for anything, even food.
1) To start with a solution that looks implementable. Well! Snacking their way through the day is more compatible with these busy explorers' lifestyle than sitting down to a full-fledged feast.
2) You need to also respect tiny tummies. Keep food servings small. Wondering how much to offer? Here's a rule of thumb – or, rather, of hand. A young child's stomach is approximately the size of his fist. So dole out small portions at first and refill the plate when your child asks for more. This less-is-more meal plan is not only more successful with picky eaters; it also has the added benefit of stabilizing blood-sugar levels, which in turn minimizes mood swings.
3) Use what is called "the bite rule" to encourage the reluctant eater. "Take one bite, two bites…" (however far you think you can push it without force-feeding). The bite rule at least gets your child to taste a new food, while giving her some control over the feeding. As much as you possibly can, let your child – and his appetite – set the pace for meals
For more interesting read for parents to follow......watch out for this space.
The ZoolKids Team