Are you worried your toddler is not eating enough?
Are mealtimes extremely stressful?
Food refusal is a completely normal part of a toddler’s development but can understandably be an extremely worrying time for parents. Toddlers may restrict the variety of foods they eat and may stop eating foods they previously loved and vice –versa. Again, this is completely normal behaviour. This phase usually improves over time but may become more apparent in some toddlers.
Your toddler may refuse a food if it is new to him or her. They need to taste it a few times to learn to like it, so always offer it the next time you are eating it. It is extremely important not to force feed your child as this will make their food refusal worse. It is important to be realistic about how much and what foods your child should/needs to be eating/drinking to ensure your goals aren’t unrealistic/unnecessary. Try not to compare your child’s intake to other toddlers as they will all naturally eat different amounts depending on several aspects. It is important to know when your child does not want to eat any more food.
Toddlers may also lose their appetite if they are:
- not feeling well
- shouted at
- pressured to eat more food when they have had enough
- pressured to eat food they dislike
- frequently offered foods that they dislike or find disgusting
- continually offered food and drinks throughout the day
- rushed at mealtimes
- feeling sad, lonely, anxious or insecure
If you are worried, I would be more than happy to help and I can watch mealtimes through zoom or within your home setting and offer advice. Very occasionally faddy eating is linked to medical problems or a memory associated with discomfort on eating.