Toddlers are at a stage in their lives where they are exploring everything around them. They are starting to develop their own likes and dislikes, which can make mealtime difficult. Though there are things to make toddler mealtimes a little bit easier, such as baby dinner sets and fun plates, little ones that turn breakfast, lunch and dinner into a challenge.
Successful Navigate Toddler Mealtimes With These Top Tips
There is no denying that toddler mealtimes cause a lot of stress, worry and annoyance for parents. If you’re not worrying that they are eating enough, you are worrying that they are not eating the correct food. If you’re not trying to keep them engaged and entertained, you are tidying up the food that’s been thrown on the floor. Simply, kids eating can be chaotic.
It is important to make mealtimes a fun and enjoyable experience for your toddler, as well as yourself. So, to help you out, we have compiled some of our top tips on how to make breakfast, lunch and dinner better for your little one.
Serve Your Toddler Their Favourite Foods - If there’s one thing that we all know about toddlers, it’s that they are very fussy and picky with what they like to eat. Though they could like something one day, that doesn’t mean they will like it the next day. That is why serving your child their favourite food is a good way to reduce the stress of mealtimes. Of course, it’s not something you can do every day, but serving them their favourite food is a good way to ensure they eat something and remain happy. There are lots of recipes out there for fun meals for kids, which are packed full of vegetables whilst still being something a toddler is likely to eat.
Make Mealtimes Fun - You can also try turning mealtimes into a game by playing with your toddler before or after they have eaten. This isn’t to say you should encourage them to throw food around or mess about, but coming up with little games is a good way to show them that mealtimes can be fun. You could also encourage your little one to get involved with the preparation of their meal, to show them how interesting cooking and eating can be. It’s also key that you don't force your child to eat if they are not hungry or refuse the food, as this can create stress around mealtimes.
Create a Routine - Establishing a regular routine around mealtimes will help your toddler feel more comfortable, relaxed and confident with what is happening at this time of day. They will quickly begin to understand what to expect at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, they will soon realise what is expected of them, what they are praised for and the type of behaviour that is not acceptable. It’s also recommended to keep mealtimes to (roughly!) the same time each day and in the same location, so it becomes a task they recognise.
Make Mealtimes a Family Affair - One way to make mealtime enjoyable is by making it interactive. Mealtime should be a time for the whole family to come together and have conversations while they eat. There should be no distractions or screens, so you can focus on your kids eating. It's also important that you do not rush through your child’s meals, as this will lead to them eating less food and not getting the necessary nutrients they need. Though you might end up sitting at the table long after you have finished, always try to give your child the time they need to eat.
Keep Mealtimes Short - A lot of parents make the mistake of having mealtimes that are long and, as far as a young child is concerned, boring. As long as you offer a variety of healthy foods and give your child enough time to eat what they can, there is very little benefit to having a long mealtime. The majority of children will stop eating once they are full, and then a long mealtime quickly becomes a source of annoyance for them.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to make mealtimes more enjoyable for toddlers. Though things aren’t going to change overnight, making small changes can encourage your child to relax and enjoy mealtimes as much as possible. Before you know it, they will be looking forward to dinner time just as much as everyone else.
Baby Dinner Sets and Fun Plates
At Nordic Stork, we understand how difficult it can be to handle toddler mealtimes. Whether you have a little one who loves trying new food or a picky eater, whether you have a child who loves sitting at the table or one who would rather be anywhere else, feeding a toddler can be tough. This is why we offer a wide range of baby dinner sets, fun plates, cutlery and silicone bowls. All of these products are natural and Scandi in design, meaning they look great at table whilst also being durable.
Once you are equipped with toddler friendly accessories, you have everything you need to make mealtimes enjoyable. Not only is a toddler more likely to enjoy using a colourful placement and smaller cutlery - it’s common for a young child to enjoy using items that they know are especially for them to use - but you don't have to worry about them breaking a precious plate or hurting themselves on standard cutlery. Instead of worrying about them eating, you can focus on your own meal.
One of the main things to remember with toddler mealtimes is to relax as much as you can. As long as you are providing healthy food and a variety of textures, your toddler will soon get the hang of how to act at mealtimes. Food is a source of enjoyment and comfort for many people, and it’s important to show your child that mealtimes can be fun. They are a time to socialise and bond as a family, not a punishment or reason to have a tantrum.