Picky Eating – How to Prevent Picky Eating In Toddler

Picky eating in toddlers can be a severe issue in the home or nursery. As a parent or caregiver, it is normal for you to feel emotional if your toddler is a picky eater.

My second child was as bad as they can be when it comes to food. She would refuse meals for the entire day. Nothing I did seemed to work. Yes, I experimented with all the advice I got from friends and family members.

But nothing seemed to work – until I got the right tips on how to prevent picky eating in toddlers. We have shared those tips in the article; ensure to read to the end to get all the useful tips.


Picky Eating – How to Prevent Picky Eating In Toddler

To prevent malnutrition in children, parents and caregivers need to ensure that they prevent picky eating. The sad thing about picky kids is that they tend to reject the foods and vegetables that are nutritious and needed for their development.

But the big question remains how we can prevent picky eating in toddlers. Below, we have highlighted some tips on how you can prevent picky eating in toddlers the right way. Let us check them out – shall we?

10 Ways to Prevent Picky Eating in Toddlers

1. Allow Your Baby to Make a Mess

Toddlers are bound to make a mess during meal time. So, once in a while, you should allow it. When a baby gets the impression that they can have fun while eating, they would be more comfortable around food. When a baby is comfortable with something, they will put it in their mouth. So, it would be best if you resisted the temptation of trying to be all tidy during meal times.

Even if you see some food around on your baby’s face, do not be quick to wipe it off. This may provoke the baby or distract him or her from the feeding process. Worst still, it may give the baby a false impression about meal time.

2. Give Your Baby Room to Self Feed

Many parents and caregivers do not want kids to self-feed because of the mess they cause. Also, we often think that they would not eat enough if they fed themselves.

This is not always true because kids can feed themselves by instinct. Therefore, you should consider introducing your baby to finger foods early. Experts advise that your baby should be able to handle finger foods at about nine months of age. If they are used to finger foods early, they will not have problems eating when the time comes.

3. Maintain a Good Eating Schedule

Do not only set up a feeding schedule. You should also make sure you stick to it. You should make sure that you prep your toddler for meal time. To achieve this, you have to consciously prevent them from having snacks or too much juice before meal time.

By doing this, you not only know the best time to offer them their meals. But you also ensure that they are hungry at that time and will not have problems eating the food offered to them.

4. Keep the Situation Under Control

When dealing with a picky eating toddler, your temper can get out of control. But trust me when I say this is not the time you want to lose your temper. Instead, you must try your best possible not to react or lose your temper with the child.

Rather, you should give the child some minutes and try feeding again after some time. Instead of getting angry with a child for not eating, you should praise them for the little they ate. This will go a long way in encouraging them to eat more. It would be best if you put your emotions in check because it would only make matters worse.

5. Share Meal Times With Your Toddler

You should eat at the same time you are feeding your baby. Also, as much as possible, ensure that you are eating the same meal as your baby. Sharing meal time with your baby goes a long way in improving their interest in eating.

When a parent or caregiver eats separately and often different meals from their babies, it promotes picky eating in the baby. As a result, the baby would not be motivated to eat, which may become a habit.

6. Get Rid of All Distractions

If you want your baby to concentrate on their food, and reduce every chance of picky eating, then make sure there are no distractions during meal time. Please do not allow your toddler to engage in any play activity or watch their favourite cartoon show during meal time.

Babies are easily distracted, and it is advisable that you get rid of every form of distraction during meal time. This will make the baby concentrate on their meal – as they should during meal time.

7. Introduce Alternatives and New Foods

If you notice that your baby does not enjoy eating a particular meal, you can provide an alternative to the diet that provides the same level of nutrients. For instance, if your toddler does not enjoy eating a particular kind of vegetable, you can provide a close alternative.

Babies are naturally very curious and love to try out new things. So, you should always try out new foods with your baby until you are able to get a list of foods that your baby loves. When choosing alternatives, ensure that you go for meals and vegetables with high nutritional values.

8. Try to Look Unconcerned – Even When You Are

Just as the saying goes, you can take a horse to the river, but you cannot force the horse to drink water. The same goes for your baby. Despite their age, babies feel that they have control over what they eat.

So, you need to try your best to look unconcerned and that the issue is not negatively affecting you. If your baby is not eating, you should put the food away and try feeding it to them again. Make the baby feel like it is not a big deal to not eat at a time but eat at a later time.

9. Engage Them in the Process

When you get your baby involved in the preparation process, it makes them feel like they are eating a meal they prepared. Get a mini cooking set for your toddler, or take them along when you go grocery shopping.

Ask them to pick their favourite vegetables and foodstuff. After this is done, applaud them for making the best choices, and seek their help during the preparation. Naturally, everyone would enjoy eating what they prepared.

10. Make Meals Enticing and Fun

Do not serve baby meals the same way you would serve meals for adults. Instead, get a cookie and animal shape cutter to cut vegetables and other solids in the baby’s meal. Also, it would be best if you tried your best possible to make the meal as colourful as it can be. That way, the food would appeal more to the baby and improve their chances of eating more, reducing picky eating.