Q:

My 2.5 year old toddler doesn't eat by herself
Is always messing around things
Doesn't listen



10 Tips To Build Healthy Eating Habits In Children!

Hi Shilpa. We are sailing in the same boat.. my daughter is also 2+ and she is tantrum queen. What helps me is.. i try to distract her mind towards something she likes. If she wants to see rhymes on phone n I don't want to give her, then I'll tell things like.. see it's raining let's go to the balcony and sit. She loves rain and sitting in the balcony so it helps sometimes. If she wants ice-cream, I try to say things like.. ok come let's go to the shop downstairs n get icecream for you. She gets excited and comes along. I take her for walk, or to the play area, she enjoys for a while, and comes back home happily, forgetting that she asked for ice-cream.
But sometimes if things get out of control, and she behaves too fussy, I instead of hitting or shouting, leave her to cry for a while. She calms down after a while and comes n Eats on her own. But ofcourse this is my last attempt to control her. Kids this age are stubborn. If they want something, they want it by hook or by crook. We have to be patient with them. I agree it gets difficult at times, but hang on.. give her food she likes, or present the plate in an interesting way, give bite sized pieces so that she can eat on her own. Include her with you in the kitchen while preparing food for her. My daughter loves to mix pediasure in her cup of milk herself, so I let her do it and she happily finished full cup of milk. She assists me (mostly spills over) while making food... But it's fine, when they see things happening for themselves, they get interested in trying things out. All the best 😊

Hi Shilpa sharing few posts of mine which has helped many, do read it with patience.

When the child has good relationship with the food there will not be any food strike, How do we create one? A child who is forced fed will have disliking for food. When they sit before the plate they will know" they like it or they don't like it.. They are hungry or not hungry, mummy is going to force feed" Same applies with distracted feed. If your child is 1. 5 yrs and above do the following things:
1. Take the child to market and get excited about vegetables.
2. Make him/her to select vegetables, go for colourful ones.;
3. Ask them to seperate, clean and take help in arranging it in the fridge, make them to wash and cut the vegetables (plastic knife) and cook it however it was badly cut.
4. Appreciate the food and say its yummy tasty etc.
5. Eat along with them.
This way you will be able to crate an interest and you will not be doing this for ever, just for some time so have patience. Remember vegetables can't be hidden in Paratha, pureed and added in roti or added in maggi. You can't cheat a child forever, sooner or later they will know you have added beetroot puree in thier roti and will reject it royally. Transparency is very important when you bring up your child, so don't cheat them. Remember if a particular vegetable or dish is rejected by the child, cook the same thing after a week or so. Don't quit saying " he doesn't like lauki". If we offer the same food on 20 different occasions they will definitely get a liking and eat. Keep away all the chips, biscuits and cookies or make once a week or as a treat. if the child is going to finish half packet of biscuits then you can't expect him/her to finish her dal chawal. By this time the child should be on 3 meals plus 2 snacks. Meals should have all the food groups like carb, protein, fat and vitamins. Roti/ rice; sabzi with ghee on top of it will make one wholesome meal. Eggs and oranges as snacks will complete their requirements. Curd can also be offered as snack or as dip for Roti. If you are offering more than 400 ml of milk everyday then reduce it to 200 ml, because milk will just fill their tummy leaving no space for solids.
Let your kid fall in love with food and look forward to pleasant meal times.;

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