During the weaning stage, it’s likely that your baby was brilliant, eating every piece of fruit or vegetable you gave them. In which case it would have come as a shock when they reach toddler age and refuse to eat pretty much anything!
However, this is completely normal, and while it is frustrating for parents, there are ways to go about helping and encouraging your child to eat a wider variety of foods, and to wean them off sweets and sugar, especially with Halloween around the corner!
As infants progress to toddlers, their appetite will decrease as their nutritional requirements will be lower, not needing as much food as before, and often less than you think.
Toddlers do not need to have separate foods at mealtimes now, and you can offer them family foods to ensure they get a variety that helps them meet all their nutritional needs for growth and development.
Exposing your toddler to a lot of different foods and encouraging them to trial new foods from the beginning can help prevent fussy eating and prevent nutritional deficiencies such as anaemia.
Toddlers still need milk in their diet, as it contains several key nutrients such as protein, calcium, B vitamins, and iodine, but limit the to a maximum of 300-400ml a day so it does not negatively impact their appetite.
Try to make mealtimes sociable and eat together as a family as often as possible. Get your kids involved in assisting with meal preparation and helping to pick new foods to try. If serving new foods, serve them up alongside other familiar food items.
Portion size is important. Offer small portions to children, as they can be put off by large servings. If your child does refuse to eat, do not make a big fuss, as this is a normal part of growing up. However, avoid offering rescue meals as they will play up to get the foods they want!
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