Dealing with toddlers is seldom easy. And it's all the more difficult when it's their mealtime. Fussy eating and tantrums thrown during mealtimes can be a little stressful.
So to enlighten us about “How to make mealtime for toddlers stress-free?” We have with us Ms. Michelle Noronha, an event curator, and mother to a three and half-year-old daughter.
There is no need for electronics or mobile phones for the simple reason that it takes away the child’s attention from the food. The idea always is to keep the screens away from mealtimes as far as possible. And the earlier it starts the better it is. Non-electronic distractions like telling them a story or showing bees, birds while roaming around with them in the house should also be avoided. The best thing is to make your child sit and eat without any distractions.
Check out: Teaching Feeding Habits to Toddlers
One of the major mistakes parents make during mealtime is when they throw their expectations on their toddlers or kids. They end up deciding the quantity of food they want their child to eat. And it's totally wrong because no two children can have the same appetite. So, in my opinion, it's always okay to waste a little amount of food instead of making them get involved in the practice of overeating.
It's not the children but the parents who are fussy! It's usually the parents' pressure that makes them look like fussy eaters. Babies in the process of growth go through a lot of phases like infancy to pre toddlerhood and toddlerhood, and each phase brings up new challenges. It's just unfair to label them as fussy eaters because their rejection of food at that point in time could be due to growth spurts or a period of illness or even regression.
And about being a good cook or not - Your kid doesn’t care about the recipes as such, so it is always okay until you are offering them with varieties.
Also read: Ways to help children develop a healthy relationship with food
I don’t make separate food other than family meals for my toddler but one of my go-to snacks would be eggs. Different kinds of eggs work well for my kid. Other than eggs, cheese (low salt), nuts, fruits, and steamed veggies can be good alternatives.
The more you delay offering textured food, the longer your child would learn to chew. So I suggest as soon as your child turns 6-7 months move away from puree and porridge to textures. And try to eat along with your child. Make loud sounds while chewing to show them how it's done. This way they would mimic you and would start chewing the food properly. But if your child is two and a half years old or more and still can't chew properly you should certainly consult a professional.
During the process of teething, a child spits because the excessive drooling irritates them but sometimes they even do it out of fun for the parents' reaction. This spitting becomes a game for them. So to avoid it the best thing is to stop reacting or by taking the plate away from them as a sign that the mealtime is over. This way the child would gradually stop with the habit of spitting.
We hope you found this article useful. Thanks to our expert mom blogger Ms. Michelle Noronha for enriching parents with this useful information. You can follow her at Instagram handle @mother_of_dramaqueen