6 tips to get your child through the fussy eating phase!
Miss 2 has gone through A LOT of phases, and coming to this realisation has helped me get through them.
Sometimes she doesn't sleep well and wakes constantly throughout the night. During this phase, I feel like the dark circles under my eyes may well be there permanently and no amount of makeup can possibly cover them up.
Another phase she has been through in the past is sometimes she doesn't like to eat. It never lasts long, but it can be very stressful at the time. Some of my advice could possibly sound ridiculous to some, however, anyone who has been desperate to have their child eat will know that we try absolutely anything to ensure our children are getting plenty of nutrition.
1. Does bub like to eat all of the same thing or a variety of foods? I've seen some well prepared "platters" in ice cube trays. You can make these fun with different colourful foods such as fruits, veges, cheese, meats, crackers, raisins or cranberries.
2. Keep trying. Miss 2 used to be great with eating her veggies. Then all of a sudden she decided she wouldn't touch them. Still, every meal time I would put them there and encourage her to eat them. Some time went by, but then the other night, I looked over to see her gobbling up her broccoli. I could have cried with happiness!
3. Where do they feel comfortable? We strive to have every meal time in the highchair at the table with the rest of the family, but we went through a phase where she refused to sit and eat.
She will now sit and eat now for most meals, but if she has eaten most of her meal and wants to get out and take some broccoli with her to eat on the couch, I don't care. She can eat that broccoli wherever she likes!
To some, this may seem like "bad habits" but they can be rectified later. For now, I just want to make sure my baby is consuming healthy foods.
4. Be gentle. I know it can be frustrating but there could be an underlying reason why your child won't eat. It could be that they simply can't. It could be a sensory issue. When a child feels you are angry or frustrated, that most certainly will not encourage them to eat so it's important to remember that they aren't being naughty and not eating should never result in punishment.
5. What are you doing at meal times? Do you have a child that every time you sit and relax, they have to climb all over you? This is a phase some children go through. Try to work around their phases. I find if I am not sitting down to eat, I must not start cleaning up her toys as that will take her focus off eating and she will want to play with her toys. Doing something neutral like the dishes is usually best.
6. "Trendy" new health foods are your friend. Miss 2 loves the new protein balls that are all the craze at the moment. I think they are great because they have little to no sugar and are made out of her favourite things like dates and fruits.
There are a number of resources on the internet that are a fantastic help, including recipes with hidden veggies that appeal to toddlers. There are also doughnuts and cake recipes available that have zero sugar in them, which make for a healthier alternative to treats.
Having a baby or toddler who doesn't like to or can't eat can be so difficult, but rest assured – you are doing a wonderful job!