Many mothers are worried when their child refuses to eat food. Toddler feeding problem is not uncommon and at some point during this stage of life, every child becomes fussy. However, you should not worry if your toddler misses one meal because he will make up his missed meal by eating small meals in between.
You should also not worry if your child is healthy, playful and growing at normal pace. The only cause of concern is when your toddlers picky eating slows down the growth of your child or if you suspect some illness that makes him eat less.
What Causes A Toddler Not To Eat?
One of the most common causes for toddler refusing to eat food is sickness. When your child is sick he will refuse to eat food. It is partly because of abnormal taste and partly because of sickness. Often your child struggles with constipation which makes him choosy about food. Teething is another common cause for a child to refuse his meal. During teething the gums are swollen and painful.
The toddler also eats less or does not eat as he should when he feels tired or sleepy.The erratic eating habit of your child sometimes is related to sight, smell and taste of a specific food. There may be bad experience of that particular food when he had eaten for the first time. Therefore he may reject the same food offered during the next meal.
The child may refuse to eat food if he does not like the taste of food. This happens many times as the food prepared for adults may not be liked by children. Any problem in mouth or ulcers in mouth can cause eating painful, especially if the food is solid.
How To Feed A Toddler Who Refuses To Eat?
Here are following tips that will make the food enjoyable for your child who does not eat his meals.
- Fix a routine time to feed your child. Eat along with the child. This will encourage the child to eat as well after observing that you are also eating the same meal. While feeding talk of some interesting topic or divert his attention to some enjoyable event.
- Few minutes before actual feeding, make him aware of the time to eat food. Sometimes the child forgets to eat even if he is hungry after playing. Making him aware of the right time will give him chance to settle down for his meal.
- Try to experiment different variety of food as it creates excitement for him to eat.
- Avoid scolding your toddler if he does not eat. After sometime when he is extremely hungry he will definitely ask for the food.
- Involve your growing toddler when you go out for food shopping. Create an interest for the food when you are preparing a meal. Make the food palatable as per the child requirement.
- Avoid coaxing or bribing your toddler to eat food if he refuses at a particular moment. Do not insist in eating all the food from his plate if he is full. Specifically avoid spoon feeding or forcing him to swallow if he dislikes the food. It may make him angry and fussier to eat food.