5 common mistakes to avoid when feeding your toddler
The truth is, mealtimes aren’t always fun with toddlers. Sometimes as parents we unwittingly make mistakes that can exacerbate mealtime stress. Take a read through this list and see if you recognise yourself in any of these examples – then take steps to change things.
- XL portion sizes
It’s easy to forget that our little ones need much smaller portions of food than adults. When a child sees a plate piled high with food, they can feel intimidated – and it might even result in them eating even less than they normally would. Serve your child appropriate-sized meals on a smaller plate – if they finish it all up and are still hungry, they can have seconds. Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Purees allcome with a resealable lid. This means you can just use a small amount at a time, and put the rest back in the fridge for the next meal. This saves on food waste and means you can always serve up seconds if needed.
- Losing patience when serving new foods
Toddlers are creatures of habit, and getting them to try new flavours and textures can be tricky. But don’t give up too soon – and don’t fall into the trap of simply serving your child their favourite food over and over again because it is easier than getting them to eat a varied diet. Experts say children might need to be exposed to a new food up to 10 times before they will eat and enjoy it – so try, try and try again!
- Forcing your child to eat everything on their plate
Eating should be an enjoyable activity and forcing your child to eat – or using bribery and coercion – can lead to unhealthy eating habits that your child could carry through to adulthood. Usually, if your toddler stops eating, it means their tummy is full. Rather than forcing your child to have any more, rather remove their plate and ensure you have a healthy snack to offer later when they feel hungry again. You’ll find a whole range of healthy snack recipes – all containing Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Puree – under the Quick + Easy Recipes tab on the Squish website, like these Chocolate Popsicles made using natural yoghurt, and these fruit-filled Crunchies.
- Offering too many sugar-laden foods and snacks.
Experts say that over the years there has been an increased intake of sugar by both children and adults. This led to the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommending the limit of free sugar intake in children. This does not include the sugar that occurs naturally in fruit and vegetables, but rather foods and drinks that have sugar added to them. Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Purees and Squish 100% Pressed Fruit Juices have no added sugar or starch and are free of preservatives, colourants and flavouring, so you can rest easy knowing you are making a smart choice for your little one.
- Setting a bad example
Toddlers are expert mimics and love copying the people around them – it is also how they test and learn what is acceptable behaviour and what is not.This applies to their eating habits too. If you overindulge in sweet treats or turn up your nose at healthy food choices, it’s likely your child will follow suit. So, if you want your child to adopt healthy eating habits, make sure you are being a good role model for them.