From Stacey Seybold Hiller, M.S.,CCC-SLP, Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist and Owner, Dream Dinners of Indianapolis, IN
In previous articles, we have discussed offering a variety of foods, using a variety of dips, and not broadcasting our food likes and dislikes onto our toddlers. But are there other practical tips that can get healthy foods into a toddler’s mouth? You bet! Try these:
- When your child is in a high chair and being spoon fed, use two spoons; one for the adult, one for the child. That way the child can begin to learn to feed himself, and he won’t be grabbing the spoon you are using. Avoid force feeding your child.
- Forks are your friend! A blunt tipped toddler fork is much easier for children to use with solid foods than a spoon. Messes happen-put a shower curtain under their high chair and let them eat away!
- While you don’t want to limit choices, you do want to limit portion size. If a small toddler has huge amounts of food on her plate, it can be overwhelming, and cause her not to eat. Start with small portions of three to four things, and offer more if desired.
- Offer an old favorite next to a new offering. Try to also give at least one finger food along with a food that requires a spoon. Remember, most children will need to see a new food at least 8-10 times before they will try it. Don’t give up! Picky eaters are made, not born.
Stacey Seybold Hiller has practiced pediatric speech pathology for more than 18 years. Both she and her husband felt they were ready for a career change, so they opened Dream Dinners in Indianapolis with a partner. Now she can further her passion for healthy family meals around the table at home!