Feeding Toddlers: 3 Ways To Make Toddler Mealtimes Easier
Hey, is this you? Confused & worrisome !!
‘My child won’t eat anything!
I am tired of trying new things every day!
I don’t know what to do or how to help him!
I am tired of listening that he would grow out of it!
I feel alone, like a total failure and hate seeing my child struggling with food…
I can understand your pain, I have been struggling all the past years with a picky eater & really want to help you.
Isn’t the story of almost every home who has a little bunny eating erratically and the mother seems like saying YES to child’s every demand? Yes, it is!
There is a way to this painful journey. Let’s take charge together to eliminate the hard and tough experience into joyful nourishment.
What’s the secret?
Your child feels a big influence of the family-style eating environment (which is becoming rare)where he tries different varieties of foods he eats at the same time with his parents. Positive experiences about food early on may help your toddler develop healthy eating habits later in life. It’s not the food, it’s the experience!
Let me make it simple for you. I have written this blog to help you to learn the 3 ways to make mealtimes easier for your toddler & the simple and possible ways to develop kid-friendly recipes or meals along with healthy eating habits in your children. This is very possible.
3 best ways to make mealtime easier when feeding toddlers
1. Providing Family Style Meals
If you truly want to see your children eating well, then you really do need to take the lead on this one.
You can’t expect them to want to tuck into lentils and tofu for dinner if you’re cooking yourself a pizza or ask them to snack on chopped veggies and hummus while you’re eating a bag of crisps.
Making a decision and sitting together for eating at the dinner table, shows them that they all are together in this. That’s why family-style meals are so favourite of mine. One to expose your child a new food in a low-pressure way is to serve family-style meals to your kids. Let me share how the real family-style meals work.
In a family-style meal, food is centered in the middle of the table. It is passed around & each member served themselves.
This is the heart of the family-style meals. Passing food, serving yourself, adding items to your plate, & deciding how much food to take. I believe this the game-changer in helping children make daily food decisions, regulate their eating & learn about all kinds of foods.
Family-style meals also provide an opportunity for the young child in honing their gross motor skills. Maintaining balance, passing platters, holding bowls, and scooping food are motor skills that can be refined at the table. These are all bonuses that come along this humble methodology.
Secondly, kids can learn & practise their table manners. ‘May I please’, ‘thank you’, ‘no thank you’, ‘my tummy is full now’, and other polite conversations can be practised & refined every day.
Don’t forget to acknowledge your child to choose which foods to eat from the items you are serving at mealtime & by doing this you are benefiting your child to serve himself that promote his growing independence. A younger child might need support from you in holding the platter, or bowl of food. Assist the child in holding the bowl and dole out a portion of each meal onto his plate.
I know by this time, you might be thinking of your picky eater?
For the choosy child who isn’t trying new foods willingly, family-style meals can expose your child to new foods in a natural and relaxed way. Your picky eater gets the chance to sniff, touch or look at the meal and get some sensory exposure. Do you want to miss this golden chance?
2. Ensure the Healthy Cupboards at home
If you and your children are hungry and there are a lot of unhealthy options ALREADY available at home, you will be more inclined to make poor food choices. No rocket science here!.
Use the kids friendly meal plans options at home & benefit your child with his strong immunity and better growth.
This can so easily be avoided simply by not buying those items in the first place – for them and for you too.
Encourage kid-friendly balanced meals – Balance of eating nourishing foods and fun foods.
Keep the fun foods for only weekend treats or once in fifteen days. This will stop so many unnecessary arguments with your children. I call this, love with limits approach.
Disclaimer- If you want a shift in the patterns & to want to add more kids friendly recipes or meal plans: Start checking the hidden sugar labels (THE FIRST THING) and buy more things which don’t have labels in the first place.
The family-style meal is an opportunity for the whole family, we should be acknowledging to begin kid-friendly meals every day because each member experience nourishment only the child.
Passing kids some crisps to eat on the way home from school or sticking a ready-meal in the oven often seems like the easier option. I’m sorry, please don’t hate me, but that’s the truth!!
I can feel you, feeding toddlers with a little wise planning and preparation doesn’t have to be so hard anyways.
How I make mealtimes easier (bonus secret)
I always find it beneficial to sit down on Sundays and look at my week ahead and plan, procure, and sit back freely. Then I have a better idea to plan my menu daily. You can copy that!
‘Whatever you can get done ahead of time on your prep day speeds things up during the week and is often a lifesaver when the clock strikes dinner time and you’re tired and uninspired.”
3. Portion Sizes and Timings of the meals
Children don’t need adult portions of food. Period.
Ideal plate- The most important thing is that at least two-thirds of kids’ plate is filled with vegetables and plants based kid-friendly meals, and then the rest filled with good carbs and lean protein.
I always offer vegetables first. Often, before I even serve them their meal, I will put down a plate of raw veggies with a dip or spread some sauce (dip sounds fun to them)
It is also important to teach your toddlers to stop eating once their tummies are telling them they have had enough. Oh! we should learn too.
The less fuss you make about what goes on the dinner table & meals are kid-friendly, you are better placed – then children have fewer preconceived ideas about what they like and don’t like.
Let them figure that out for themselves.
Here is a good news, I have a real mamamade kid-friendly healthy, tasty recipes for you. If you want a variety & end the same boring meals every day, mamamade is your saviour.
And if you have a long-awaited desire to meet someone who can hear you, and understands your picky toddler and your mealtime experiences, then you are at the right place mom. You have all my ears. Pour all.
Taking help is more about learning from those who are already done. It’s not a weakness.
Let’s connect and ensure happily & easier mealtimes every day. It’s possible for everyone!
Wishing you Happy Feeding Times!