You asked

How do I manage my toddler's fussy eating?

Having a child who is a fussy eater is a common source of frustration and worry for parents. The important thing to remember, however is that there are things you can do to encourage your little one to try more foods:
 
Do:
  • Offer your toddler a variety of foods and tastes,
  • Offer 2-3 healthy snacks in between meal times such as fruit, vegetable sticks and hummus, cheese on crackers, and yoghurts.
  • Offer iron-rich foods at mealtimes such as red meat, poultry, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, fortified milks, dark green leafy vegetables
  • Give a mixture of white and wholegrain breads. Too much wholegrain foods are too filling for your toddler.
  • Praise your toddler when they finish their meal or try a new food.
  • Make meal times more fun using colourful plates, having a picnic, or having dinner outside.
  • Eat together as a family and make mealtime’s relaxed, happy occasions.
  • Give drinks from a beaker/cup and do not use a bottle after the age of 1.
Don’t:
  • Force-feed your toddler as your toddler will eat according to their appetite.
  • Allow grazing on foods – stick to 3 main meals and 2-3 healthy snacks in between.
  • Get angry even though you may feel frustrated, as your toddler will associate mealtimes with these negative emotions. Offer foods high in sugars such as sweets and sugary drinks.
  • Give your toddler too many drinks throughout the day as they will fill them up too much and they will not be hungry for their meals.
  • Give your toddler tea or coffee as these will reduce the amount of iron they absorb from food.
  • Add salt, gravy, or sauces to your toddler’s foods to make them more appealing as they contain too much salt.
  • Use sweets or snacks as a reward because this will make these foods seem more desirable to your toddler.
 

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