Since your child became a toddler, they’ve kept you on your toes—literally. You love to watch them explore their world and chase after them for fun. But what’s not so fun? Trying to persuade them to stay put for a meal, over and over again.
The reality is, on some days, your toddler might be excited about mealtimes, and on other days, they might avoid eating like the plague. Unfortunately, this can cause stress for both you and your little one. And if your toddler refuses to eat, their health can be affected during their critical development years.
The good news? By following just a few feeding tips for toddlers, you can easily make breakfast, lunch, and dinner fun moments for your little one. Here is a rundown on how to make meal time enjoyable for the busiest toddlers moving forward.
Involve Your Children in Meal Prep
One of the top feeding tips for toddlers is to enlist your toddler’s help while you’re preparing meals. Allowing your wee one to be your sous-chef can bolster their excitement to try healthy foods, like vegetables.
As a matter of fact, allow your child to shop for vegetables with you or to pick vegetables from your garden for your next meal time. And give them a choice between vegetables and protein entrees from time to time. For instance, let them choose between pork and beef, as well as cabbage and green beans for the side. You can even allow your little one to choose your meal preparation method — tossing a salad or cooking a soup, for example. Giving your child these opportunities will help them to feel more important in the kitchen, and this can motivate them to eat better when dinner time arrives.
Cultivate a Happy Atmosphere
Wondering how else to make meal time enjoyable for toddlers? Make sure that your dining atmosphere is as comfortable as possible.
This is one of the most essential feeding tips for toddlers because children are more likely to give healthy foods a try when they’re eating in a wholesome, happy environment. On the contrary, negative meal times obviously bring both mood and appetites, and this can stifle your toddler’s excitement around meals. So, use gentle words versus shouting when trying to persuade your child to eat a bit more quickly. And instead of yelling at them if they make messes, invite them to assist you in cleaning up after meals.
Introduce Fun Dishes
No list of the top feeding tips for toddlers would be complete without a reference to captivating and ergonomic dishes created just for children. Look for children’s plates that come in fun shapes, like frog shapes. In addition, choose plates with multiple compartments. This will make it easy to provide your child with perfectly portioned foods that won’t touch one another, which every picky eater can appreciate.
The best kids’ dishes also come with suction cups, which will keep your child’s meal in place. This means less frustration for them and less cleanup for you — a win-win situation.
Decorate Your Meals
The leading feeding tips for toddlers also include decorating your children’s meals. It’s human nature to crave food that is presented beautifully. So, before placing your child’s plate on their high chair tray, turn their food items into an attractive picture. For instance, create one of their favorite cartoon characters or an animal. Or, simply arrange fruits of varying colors in the form of a rainbow, for example. This may stimulate their taste and, in turn, encourage more eating.
Engage in Conversation
Our top feeding tips for toddlers also include engaging in conversations with your little one during each meal. You might feel inclined to give your child a smartphone to entertain them while eating. And you may even be tempted to scroll through your Facebook feed to unwind during dinner time, too.
Instead, ask your toddler about their day, and listen to what they have to tell you. Don’t let electronic devices distract you and your child from conversing with each other and enjoying your meals. Rather, use meal time to focus on eating and building a healthy relationship with your child. This is also an excellent time to facilitate your child’s conversation skills, allowing them to learn how to share their opinions and feelings — a combo socialization and feeding tip for toddlers!
Don’t Place Pressure on Your Child to Eat a Certain Amount
Finally, one of the most important feeding tips for toddlers is to avoid pushing them to eat more after they tell you they’re full. This may cause your child to feel overwhelmed and view meal time through a negative lens. It can also lead to overeating, which can cause unhealthy weight gain.
Elevate Meal Time with the Help of Abiie
At Abiie, we know how to make meal time enjoyable for toddlers with a wide range of baby products, including our Beyond Junior Y High Chair, Ruby Wrapp Bib, and Octopod Baby Dishware. Shop now and experience baby products designed to make a difference!