That’s just it—you can’t ‘make ‘ your child eat. If you try, you’ll end up in a losing battle with her.
Till the time of weaning, your baby is happy being breast fed. In fact, she thrives and becomes strong and healthy.
By the time she is two years old, she starts showing her likes and dislikes of food.
PUSHING FOOD OUT OR FOOD REJECTION:
It may be that your child enjoyed a certain food you were giving her. Now she either closes her mouth, shakes her head at you or if you force her, she simply brings it all out. Familiar?!
1) It is possible that she’s been snacking a lot. In that case she is full and you shouldn’t force her. She ‘s still a baby and her stomach capacity is small.
2) It could be that she just wants to gain control of her body- to show who’s boss. “Nobody can make me do what I don’t want to do!”
3) It could be just a whim, or that she’s bored of an old favourite food.
4) It could be that she’s teething or that she’s catching a cold.
WHAT TO DO?
1) Don’t get worried or bothered. Your child won’t starve. If they are not pushed to eat, healthy toddlers eat what they need.
2) Take the rejected food away and don’t serve it for at least a week. Meanwhile, serve something nutritionally similar. If Poori has rejected, serve a bread sandwich. If banana has been rejected give her mashed apple. Like us, toddlers also get tired of the sameness of food. Bring back the rejected food with a twist. Instead of rice for lunch, serve Poori. Take this opportunity to introduce some new food items to the menu.
3) Try what your child has refused to eat. Toddlers are notoriously possessive. When she sees you eating her food, she may be inspired to eat it after all.
4) Toddlers rarely eat “ meals”. They snack a lot. It’s as healthy as meals. In fact it is better for them to eat small amounts eight times a day. This helps to maintain their energy levels throughout the day and stops them from getting irritable.
5) No single food is essential and there is always a nutritious substitute for any food she does not like at any give time. If you give your child a wide variety of food, she will have a balanced diet. This means you’ll have to put a lot of thought and planning into your cooking and presenting it in a way your child will like. It will prevent your child from rejecting the food and save you much heart burn!
Observe your child carefully. If she looks fretful and clumsy, check her temperature and speak to your doctor if you’re worried.