Tips & Tricks for Mealtime Troubles

Tips & Tricks for Mealtime Troubles

May 29, 2024

Oftentimes as a parent, just as soon as your baby reaches one milestone, another new and exciting milestone awaits! Starting your little one on solid foods is one of those milestones to celebrate, and once they are happily eating those solid foods, you might feel a sense of relief and believe that they will always love those healthy first foods! While that could very well be the case, many babies begin to show a preference for certain foods, and disdain for others previously favorited, as they move into the toddler years. If you are walking through this season currently, here are some curveballs you may not be expecting in regard to their eating preferences, along with tips to help you come get through them!

 

1. As soon as we introduced solids, my baby stopped drinking as much formula &/or breastmilk

If you begin to notice your baby cutting back on nursing or formula feedings once they are offered solids, there are a couple of things you can try. If your baby is younger than one year old, be sure to consult your child's care provider to be sure that their nutritional needs are being met in this situation as it is most important that their nourishment is coming from their breastmilk or formula before one year of age. Solid food at that point is not necessarily for nutrition, rather it is meant to help them explore new tastes and textures.  

Past the age of one year old however, your little one may start to gain more of their nutrients from foods included in their diet, along with their formula or the breastmilk they are offered. If you are noticing them cutting back excessively on their milk at this point, try offering the milk first, and then offer them the solids afterwards. That way, they are not filling up all the way on solids and leaving out the nutrients offered in their breastmilk or formula. You could also try offering a portion of their milk, then offering some solids, then finishing off feeding time with some more milk. If you are formula feeding, you could also try moving onto the next stage to help bridge any nutrient gaps. Browse our organic European formulas that are made specifically to meet the nutritional needs of babies and toddlers past the age of one right here.

 

2. My little one used to love anything I offered them, but now they seem to refuse just about everything!

If this is a challenge that you are experiencing during mealtimes, do your best to remember that this is only a phase. As your little one expands their taste buds and learns which foods they prefer, they may start to refuse certain foods or food groups altogether that they previously ate willingly. While this can feel discouraging as a parent, do your best to stay patient and give them time. One tip that may be helpful during mealtimes if you have a particularly picky baby or toddler is to offer them a bite of something you know they love, and then offer something they may not be so keen of. Perhaps leaving both options out in front of them and allowing them to explore the food items on their own will encourage them to try a little bit of that less preferred item. It is developmentally appropriate for a toddler or young child to develop a love for a certain food one day, and then refuse it the next. This can happen due to preference, but it can also happen due to their body's specific needs for nourishment. Do your best to always offer a wide variety of food group items, but also follow their lead and trust that they will try the foods that look appetizing in accordance with their body's needs. 

 

3.  My toddler won't eat at regular mealtimes but loves to snack!

Once have reached the stage where your toddler is eating regular meals and snacks during the day instead of just primarily drinking milk, you may notice that their eating habits don't quite align with yours as an adult. Toddlers have a small stomach, which means they often crave smaller snacks or meals more often. Try not to feel discouraged if they refuse breakfast but want a snack soon after, or if they want to skip a meal altogether.  As long as you are offering them a variety of healthy foods options throughout the day along with plenty of hydration, they will eat when hungry. This, coupled with regular monitoring of their growth and development by their care provider will help to reassure you as the parent that their dietary needs are being met. 

 

4. Planning around our toddler's pickiness when it comes to food makes mealtimes difficult as a family

If you are struggling to find meals that the whole family will love, aim to at least include one or two of your toddler's favorite items on their plate whenever a meal is served. That way, if they refuse the main meal, at least there are a couple of items on their plate that they will likely consume. This is a tip that may serve you well past the toddler years and right on into the early years of adolescence, too! You can also implement this if you are enjoying a meal at a restaurant or at a loved one's home. Bring along a couple of tried-and-true items just in case they aren't a fan of what is being offered as a way to help them feel comfortable seeing a familiar to them food item. Aim to make mealtimes fun by incorporating those familiar items as a way to bridge a gentle encouragement for them to try new foods, too.

 

5. My child spits out certain textures when eating

If you notice your child gagging or spitting out the same foods over and over, it could just be that they are trying to get used to the specific texture of a food. Learning to chew and mash different foods can be overwhelming to little ones. You can continue to offer those items, but also leave room for them to explore them on their own. If they aren't a fan of something specific presently, they may just grow to like it down the road. The key is to always offer a variety of textures so they can experience how different foods feel in their mouths while eating but allow them to have a say if they are just not loving a certain texture. Even as an adult, you may not prefer certain foods or textures, so keeping that in mind with your child can be helpful!

While helping you baby or toddler navigate new foods can be tricky, it is also a milestone that is filled with so much fun! Be sure to practice making mealtimes a special time for bonding. Talk to them, encourage them to practice picking up foods to put in their mouth and eventually use utensils. Model healthy eating for them whenever you are eating as well. Keep in mind as well that any troubles that pop up along the way are likely very common and developmentally appropriate as they navigate this new stage. 

 

Subscription Plans

As you embark on the journey of feeding solid foods, try our new subscription plan to ensure that your child's unique nourishment needs are being met! 

1. For little ones over the age of one, choose your favorite toddler formula. If you have a baby under the age of one, you can instead choose your preferred formula brand between LebenswertHolle, or HiPP

2. Select larger quantities like 8 boxes to see the subscription options appear. Select your preferred subscription plan: monthly, every 6 weeks, or every two months.

3. Sit back, relax, and let us take care of the rest! Your baby formula will be delivered right to your door on schedule!

 

Interested in reading more about mealtimes!? Here are some past posts you may enjoy:

Quick & Easy Baby Food Recipes - Organicbabyfood.shop

Baby Led Weaning: What It Is & How To Do It

Cooling Foods For Your Little Cutie

Organic Meal Ideas For Babies and Toddlers

Making the Jump to a Sippy Cup

 

Leave a Comment Below

Do you have any mealtime tips or tricks, or special recipes for littles that you would like to share? If so, let us know in the comment section below!



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