For first-time parents, the challenges don’t stop when baby is past the newborn stage, and some of the biggest trials begin when he or she reaches toddler age. By now, your darling cherub has developed a personality and emotions, but yet not quite the ability to express themselves properly, often leaving you feeling you’re having a conversation in an alien language.
However, if you say attention, they can be very good at communicating, particularly when it comes to their eating habits. It is still essential to ensure you tantalise your toddler’s tastebuds, and with growing appetites comes growing independence, and the excitement of seeing your child want and enjoy snacks by themselves.
1. It’s normal for me to be a picky eater
Fussy eating is common in young children, peaking at around 20 months and fading away between five and eight years old. It is part of their development as they try to figure out a new and exciting world.
2. My appetite is never the same
It’s also very common for your child’s appetite to change from day to day, and even from meal to meal. Every toddler is different – some wake up hungry and feast, while others have a larger appetite at dinner with the family.
Toddlers are not often interested in food, but growth spurts mean they can’t keep up with their appetites. Be guided by your toddler’s interest in food instead of assuming they will always eat the same amount.
3. I’ll tell you when I am full
Unlike adults, toddlers are very good at listening to their bodies and eating when hungry and stopping when full. By paying attention you can spot the signs that baby has had enough to eat, such as the pace of eating slows down, they purse their lips tight, and if ignored and told to eat more may become irritable and demand to leave the table or feeding chair.
4. Please can I feed myself
Stepping back and letting your toddler feed themselves is an important part of their development. The practice of self-feeding stimulates hand-eye coordination and will encourage them to listen to their fullness cues.
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