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What can drive a mother crazy more than having to run around after her toddler and trying to feed them? Sometimes toddler food strikes make mothers wonder; is something wrong with them? Could they be sick? Will they ever eat again? The good news is that this phase usually does not last long and almost every child goes through it at one point or another.
There are many reasons toddlers go on food strikes. Of course, the first thing you should rule out is that your child is not sick, because like adults kids lose their appetite if they are feeling unwell.
Reasons your child could be on a food strike:
- Teething: It causes gum swelling and makes toddlers cranky. Freeze teethers and let them bite on them to ease the pain and swelling.
- Constipation: If toddlers are constipated, they will not have an appetite to eat. Prune juice is a great home remedy for constipation.
- Forced feeding: Don’t make meal-time a struggle between you and your kid. If you force-feed them, they will refuse to eat even more.
Tips to Overcome Toddler Food Strike:
Offer a variety of food
Kids get bored too. Try to offer them different varieties of food. Ask them what they would like to eat. Give them options to choose from.
Don’t make meal-time a battle
Stressing yourself and your child out during meal-time will only make things worse. If they are absolutely refusing to eat during a meal, leave them and wait an hour or two and start offering them food again. Chances are they will come asking for food themselves.
Let them feed themselves
Kids like to feel independent. Give them the chance to explore eating independently even if they end up making a mess, but at least they are attempting to eat.
Eat as a family
Toddlers like to imitate grown-ups. Eating as a family will definitely encourage them to eat better.
Keep offering them food
Don’t give up. Keep offering them food, if they say no, give it some time and offer them again. Kids will never starve themselves; if they feel hungry they will definitely come looking for food.
Further reading: 8 Brands That Hide Yummy Veggies in Kids’ Food.