Ah, terrible twos. I personally wanted to rename it terrific twos but with Bunny’s tantrums and eating habits, I can’t. Every day is a struggle. It’s not because she’s eating air but because she’s very particular about what she wants to consume! Red flags started to rise last year. She would choose oatmeal over rice, puffs over veggies, and biscuits over fruits.
We tried every trick we can think of. Some would work well but most don’t. I even found myself crying in a corner thinking where I went wrong.
Why Are Toddlers Picky Eaters?
Partly Bunny’s eating habits are my fault. I was a picky eater too when I was young. I recall that my food choices were limited to hot dogs, lugaw (rice porridge), bread (I preferred eating the crust vs. the actual pizza), and rice. I’ve read some articles which pointed out that genes have something to do with it.
Aside from hereditary issues of my little fickle eater, I shielded her from poultry and seafood. Bunny has mastocytosis and would have allergic reactions to poultry and seafood. I hated the itchy red bump she had on her arm. So with her dermatologist’s help, we were able to control it from spreading.
As per her derma, the only way to help lessen the itch was if I slowly introduce poultry and seafood to her diet through my breastmilk first then to her diet. I hovered too much and decided to introduce poultry and seafood a bit too late.
Lastly, toddlers are naturally picky eaters. They know now that they can say no or throw a tantrum fit when you force food to them. Knowing this helped me tone down a bit on the where did I go wrong rant to E.
How I Dealt with My Picky Eater
- Don’t force feed your toddler. Your toddler will be traumatised whenever you force feed her! Believe me, Bunny would look terrified and would avoid our dining table whenever she can. She dreaded meals for 2 days because I force fed her. There was even a time when she tried to force feed me too!
- Identify her favourite food. For Bunny its oatmeal, pizza, and biscuits. Now we have a steady supply of her go-to snacks. In our minds, it’s better than an empty stomach.
- Don’t deprive your toddler food. No, please don’t. If your toddler drinks milk (whether it is formula or breast milk) she is getting nutrients that she needs. Add supplements to the mix and your toddler would be fine. Just please don’t deprive them just because they don’t like what you offered.
- Eat with them. This is my current tactic. I would make sure that I eat breakfast and dinner with her. Seeing mommy eating the food served in front of her made her more comfortable. This is my best move so far. Now she’s eating rice again! Just be prepared to share your plate with your toddler.
- Supplement with Milk and Vitamins. This is how we tackle Bunny’s low food intake in her bad days. We ensure that she takes her vitamins daily and that she latches at night when I come home.
- Be patient. Toddlers would like one food today and hate it the next day. Bunny loved noodles before! Now she hates it and wouldn’t even touch it! Just make sure you have enough reserve of her go to food.
Hope my tips above helped. Do drop your personal tips in the comments section below!