/ #toddler #eating 

How to Get Your Toddler to Eat

I am lucky that Valentino is a good eater. He is now almost 18 months, and for the most part he loves eating. Sometimes, however, he will get picky and refuse new foods that I introduce or that look different. So then I have to get creative and trick him. Sometimes my tricks will work, and sometimes they won’t. Sometimes kids just aren’t hungry and it’s better to give up than trying to force feed. When they are really hungry, they will eat.

Here are some tips that have worked for me:

-Buy fun plates and cutlery. Make the whole eating process fun, and make it look appealing. If it looks good, then it will probably taste good, thinks the baby.

-When giving something new, start out with giving them a tiny piece. You don’t want to overwhelm them with a big bite of something they’re not familiar with. They will most likely spit it out.

-Have the whole family eat at the dinner table at the same time.

-Make sure your baby is hungry, and then start eating whilst he waits for his food. This works almost every time for me. Make your baby feel left out. Make him ask for it and really want it. Then after a few minutes be like “Oh you’re hungry? Ok, here you go!”

-Try adding some condiments. Valentino loves plain yogurt. When he’s refusing to eat, I’ll dab some yogurt onto his food, put it in a new plate and get a new fork. Then I will pretend that it’s different food. I will pretend to eat it while ignoring him. Then he will look at me curiously and eventually he will complain about wanting some.

-Never, ever force feed. That will just make it worse. Instead, ignore them. Give them more time to become hungrier. Then try again later. Don’t keep offering food after he refuses it the first time. Just wait it out and try again later.

-Try the “hiding” technique. Take a food that your toddler loves, chop some foods that he doesn’t like so much, and then hide it in the food he loves. Valentino won’t eat green beans and spinach on their own, but if I sneakily chop them up and mix them in his rice and yogurt, then he will eat them and he will eat all of them! This is the best trick ever.

-Place the food in front of your toddler, then all of a sudden grab it and eat it yourself. Repeat several times. Then your toddler will get angry and think “That’s MINE!” This works every time.

These are some food Valentino finds palatable. I’m trying to get him to eat on his own with a spoon or fork, but that doesn’t seem to be going so well. Wish me luck on that.

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About: Leila Rahmanian and Salar Rahmanian

Leila Rahmanian is married to Salar Rahmanian. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have three wonderful kids, two boys named Valentino Rahmanian and Caspian Rahmanian and a beautiful daughter named Persephone Rahmanian.