A guide for parents for picky eating toddlers
Getting their kids to eat well- balanced meals is an issue that most parents have to deal with on almost a daily basis. Ask any parent that has a growing child and they will definitely agree with you.
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All Toddlers are Different
Parents will often notice that toddlers are not the same. Some are cool and docile most of the time and can easily be managed.
Others are quite a handful to deal with- and it often takes one or both parents to get involved in managing the child.
Whether such children have behavioral problems or not, especially in the age group of 2 to 4 years of age, the truth is that some of them really raise hell when it comes to feeding time.
It is at this time that the whole house is in turmoil, and it takes a well-conceived plan to get some food down the toddler’s throat. It takes a combination of cajoling and a lot of fussing around to accomplish this task.
Both parents will evidently heave a sigh of relief once this task has been accomplished. At the same time, they will dread the prospect of having to feed their toddler in another couple of hours or so- as the next mealtime approaches.
Why Some Toddlers are Picky Eaters
- Pediatricians and others in the medical community are well-convinced of the fact that toddlers have many behavioral and eating issues in the age group of 2 to 4 years.
- In fact you will be surprised to find that your child who was so easily manageable before has now turned into a little monster. You would be hard pressed to compare the behavior and mannerisms of this child to the same of only one year ago.
- Some child psychologists say on the basis of their experience in dealing with this age group that toddlers are generally overwhelmed by the rapid changes that are happening to them both physically and emotionally at this stage.They even have a name for it- sensory overload.
- So when a toddler screams and has tantrums at or near meal time, it is quite possible that some other issue has a bearing on what is going on at the present time.
- One solution is to pick up the toddler and go to another room, or outdoors in a garden. Once the environment is changed, the belligerent behavior is usually placated.
- One could also move to a quieter environment, where the colors of the walls are neutral or pastel based. Psychologists have indicated that colors and sounds are also quite instrumental in changing a toddler’s behavior.
A Possible Reaction
- Have you ever considered that the reason your toddler is unhappy and reacting in such a strange way at mealtimes is that maybe he or she has an aversion to some kinds of foods.
- This can only be determined if you keep a small but detailed food log of what you have been feeding your toddler over a couple of weeks.
- It will help you see if the toddler has a dislike or reaction to some kinds of foods. Quite possibly, feeding the toddler this food again will trigger an instantaneous negative reaction in their brain. Hence the undesirable reaction is imminent and irrefutable.
If you do notice this pattern in your child at mealtimes, by all means get the meal content analyzed by a food nutritionist. Your toddler may also have to accompany you to the clinic or hospital to undergo some testing to confirm a food allergy.
Some Common Food Intolerances
Based upon their commonality, we give below the most common food intolerances for the toddler age group:
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and grain products. It is similar to yeast. Gluten is known to be hard to digest. It may result in inflammation in the human body. .
This is a protein also found in milk and is similar to gluten. People who have casein intolerance are quite often also found to have gluten intolerance. In this case, it’s best to avoid eating dairy products altogether.
People who lack the enzyme Lactase in their bodies have lactose intolerance. They cannot break down sugar in milk to be absorbed by the body. Abdominal pain and changed bowel movements are tell- tale signs of this malady.
Amazingly, some people are intolerant to eating eggs. This can be the whole egg, or the yolk or the albumen. However, if one has an egg intolerance, it’s best to avoid eggs in totality. Headaches and skin conditions can result from egg intolerance.
Allergies to Almonds and Nuts
This is quite a common occurrence. If not diagnosed and handled correctly, this can erupt into skin conditions, especially around the eyes.
Yeast is a common ingredient in almost all baked goods. It is the primary ingredient in what gets bread to rise- which also applies to biscuits and pastries of all kinds. Unfortunately, a yeast intolerance is also common for some people.
The sooner you find or can pinpoint your toddler’s intolerance to any kind of foods, you will be that closer to solving their picky eating problems. It will also lead to more sanity and peace during kiddie meal times, which is a great blessing indeed.
About the Author
Merlyn Rocha is a single mother of two kids- one 5 and the other 7 years old. She has passed through some difficult times as a mother. She’s part of the Little Spoon community and has loads of advice that she gives to anyone who asks for it. She loves to play Bingo in Church every weekend.