All of us would agree that there cannot be anything more frustating than dealing with a fussy toddler. It comes as an alarm when a 2-year-old refuses to eat soild foods and prefers only milk the entire day.
Moreover, if you are one of those parents who think that they can win the food fight with a young toddler and force him to eat solid food, you are WRONG!
The only thing that the fight leaves you with is a Big Question Mark “?”, asking – “How do I get my child to eat solid food?”
The answer is – RELAX! Steer clear of any power struggle over food!
Yes, you need to keep your cool and understand that nagging and fretting will not coax your toddler into eating solid food. It will only make the problem worse. However, this does not mean you solemnly renounce your duties of feeding your toddler with proper nutrition. The issue demands the shift in approach you adopt to feed your toddler.
So, while you decide to agree with us and wait this transient phase out, let me put forth some useful tips from our SOS MOMs to help you sail through this smoothly:
- “Toddlers develop a perception that drinking milk is the easiest way to satisfy their hunger. They prefer a bottle of milk over eating solid food. Therefore, it is essential to cut down the milk intake of your child. This will make him feel hungry and eat whatever you offer”, says Richa Nangia.
- “Allow your toddler to be independent and have some control. Offer finger foods than spoon feeding your child everytime. Letting your toddler eat on his own makes him more interested in food offered and gives a sense of satisfaction. This may be messy but it is worth giving a try”, says Priya Vashishtha.
- At this age, toddlers love to mimic their elders. So, make your child eat at the dinning table with all the family members than feeding him alone. Set a good example of finishing your food so that your toddler follows the same.
- “Make your toddler’s food look interesting by giving it different shapes. For example, you can make heart shape parathas, animal face dosa, and so on. Buy him new plate and spoon with attractive cartoon shapes”, says Shabnam Desai
- Neha Trikha Agrawal says, “pay attention to your toddler’s hunger pattern and offer food only when he feels hungry”.
- “Put on some cartoon videos, ryhmes or songs while feeding your baby. This distracts your toddler’s mind from food and he ends up finish whatever is given to him”, suggests mommies –Asha Jins, Neha Joshi and Pooja Anil Gupta.
- Shivangi Gupta says, “try to mix the solid food with yogurt/ milk and then feed your toddler. Slowly increase the quantity of solid food and reduce that of yogurt/ milk. This will give your toddler a similar taste that he is used to, and he will not reject the food”.
Being a picky eater or refusing to eat solids is a normal part of toddler development. The more the parents focus on food the more likely the toddler is to refuse to eat. Therefore, it is always best to adopt a casual approach and believe in the fact that this phase is transient. Your toddler is sure to outgrow this, eventually.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Richa Nangia, Priya Vashishtha, Kanishka Tingal Bhatt, Shabnam Desai, Neha Trikha Agarwal, Pooja Anil Gupta, Neha Joshi, Aastha Amit Kapoor, Akhila Garimella, Priya Suresh, Asha Jins, Sakshi Batra, Jas Saini, Noopur Choubey Bajpai, Paridhi Tapan Upadhyay, Sangel Brit S, Silva Sarkar, Shivangi Gupta, Garima Grover, Aman Tiwari, Ramya Comanduri and Shamsheer Khan