6 toddler feeding problems: How you can solve them

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — August 10, 2016
  • He creates a huge mess. There's more food on the floor than in his mouth!
    1 / 6 He creates a huge mess. There's more food on the floor than in his mouth!

    As your little one learns to feed himself, expect the food to go everywhere  not just into his mouth – because his coordination isn’t fully developed.

    Be patient. Clean up the mess without reprimanding him or complaining.

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  • He leaves the table and wanders around, instead of sitting still
    2 / 6 He leaves the table and wanders around, instead of sitting still

    Make each meal an enjoyable experience. If eating is fun and pleasurable, your toddler will sit happily at the table without wanting to get out of his seat.

    Create a relaxed atmosphere; sit beside him and chat with him while he eats on his own.

    Related: How to discipline your baby: 10 golden rules that work

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  • He takes forever to finish his meal
    3 / 6 He takes forever to finish his meal

    Stop the meal after a fixed time. To ensure that self-feeding does not become a lengthy play activity, remove his plate after a reasonable time (say, 15 minutes) and warn him in advance when that time limit approaches.

    This discourages him from wasting time.

    Related: Why babies under one year old should not drink fruit juice at all

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  • He is a picky eater and skips his vegetables
    4 / 6 He is a picky eater and skips his vegetables

    Give him small amounts of food on a large plate. Your young child may be put off by large mounds of food on his plate – it may seem overwhelming to him.

    Also, get him used to the taste of vegetables by mixing them up with food that you know he likes.

    Related: Toddler doesn’t like to drink water: What to do

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  • He struggles to hold the spoon or fork firmly in his hand
    5 / 6 He struggles to hold the spoon or fork firmly in his hand

    Keep cutlery child-friendly. Your child’s hand is small, so give him a spoon with a handle that is appropriately sized and shaped for those little fingers to grasp.

    Show him how to grip the handle properly.

    Related: Are you overfeeding your baby?

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  • He continues to want you to feed him
    6 / 6 He continues to want you to feed him

    As his hand control improves, reduce your direct involvement. Encourage him to hold the spoon on his own, even if he asks for your help.

    The more he manages by himself, the less he’ll need you to help.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: How to use time-out on toddler

     

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