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    When will my Toddler Stop being a Picky Eater?

    Does your little one want plain pasta for dinner every night? Or refuse to eat anything green?

    Toddlerhood can be challenging when it comes to setting up healthy eating habits for your child. Not all children are "picky eaters", but for some, picky eating may develop as they experience developmental changes and become more independent. 

    Watch to learn ways to make sure your fussy eater is getting enough variety in their diet. 

    Take this interactive quiz to test your knowledge on handling your “Picky Eater.”

    Picky eaters

    True or Myth
    1/4
    In saying “no” to what Mom and Dad want her to eat, a child is expressing her independence.
    Bravo!
    You're right, by refusing to eat what Mom and Dad want her to eat, a child is simply showing that she has her own thoughts and opinions. It's a normal developmental step on the way to becoming independent. She might just need to check it out a few times before eating it. Some experts say a child may need to be offered a food up to 10 times before she’ll decide to eat it.
    Not at all!
    By refusing to eat what Mom and Dad want her to eat, a child is simply showing that she has her own thoughts and opinions. It's a normal developmental step on the way to becoming independent.She might just need to check it out a few times before eating it. Some experts say a child may need to be offered a food up to 10 times before she’ll decide to eat it.
    True or Myth
     

    Action steps to curb pickiness

    Two factors may contribute to your toddler’s picky eating: her environment, and, of course, her food. There are lots of things you can do! Here are some instantly implementable tips to help curb your child's pickiness:

    Set the stage

    • Create a calm environment during mealtime by turning off the TV.
    • Keep her tray simple by limiting the amount of bowls, spoons, and cups. Too many things in sight can overwhelm her and leave her uninterested in eating.
    • Use familiar objects at the table—seeing the same bib, bowl, and utensils may be comforting to your toddler.
    • Sit down at the table to eat as a family and include her in the conversation.
    • Your child's appetite fluctuates from meal to meal, and day to day.  Don't be overly concerned if she doesn't eat the amount you think he needs.  Show her you respect her hunger and fullness cues.
    • Avoid pressuring your child to eat. Your role is to decide what foods to offer and when to offer them, but let your child decide whether to eat and how much to eat.
    • Include a food she’s used to in each meal, then let her choose if she wants to try the other foods on her tray.
    • Don’t prepare a separate meal—it could encourage her to continue this type of behaviour at mealtime.
    • Serve smaller-sized portions (1 to 2 tablespoons)—large portions may overwhelm her.
    • Give her time to chew, swallow, and even play a bit with new food. Playing with food is part of learning about it. Rushing her takes fun out of eating and adds stress.
    • Embrace the mess! It will make the feeding experience more pleasant for you and your baby. Let him explore even if it gets messy—toddlers often need to look at, touch, smell, and taste a food before eating it.
    • Be patient. If your toddler rejects a food, it might just be that she doesn’t recognize it.
    • Don't give up on a rejected food, try preparing it a different way and offering it again.
    • Serve a variety of healthy foods, and set a good example by eating them yourself. If a child sees her mom, dad, or siblings eating a nutritious food, she may be more willing to try it.
    • Don’t bribe her with sweets. This teaches her that some foods are desirable while others aren’t.
    • Be realistic. Your child may never love Brussels sprouts. But you can help her learn the joy of trying new foods at the dinner table.
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