Feeding your child or preschooler can be challenging at times. Your child may becoming more independent, learning more about food, and making their own choices when it comes to what they eat. As a parent or caregiver it is important to learn different strategies and ways to deal with your child’s difficult eating habits and make sure that they are still eating well.
If your child wants the same food every day
Let your child have their favourite food as long as it is nutritious. Continue to offer other healthy choices at each meal. If you do NOT make a big fuss your child will soon move on to another favourite food.
If your child refuses to eat
Respect your child’s awareness of their own body. Serve smaller amounts of food and make sure snacks are served well before dinner. Try not to become a ‘short order cook’ – your child should get used to sharing the family meal.
If your child refuses to try new foods
Continue to offer new foods and put small amounts on your child’s plate whenever you eat them. Some children need to see a new food many times (up to 10 time) before they will try and accept it. Encourage your child to try a small bite but do not force your child to eat the food. Doing this could make your child less likely to try the food in the future.
If your child does not eat vegetables
Serve vegetables at snack time when your child is hungry. Offer a variety of brightly coloured vegetables so your child can choose what they like. Puree or finely chop vegetables and put them in pasta sauce or soup. Supervise your child while they are eating. Vegetables can be a choking hazard.
Source: Dietitians of Canada. 'How can I deal with some common toddler and preschooler feeding issues?'
Learn more about: