We recently enjoyed having guest speaker Cynthia Epps, infant/toddler feeding specialist, here to give us some tips about feeding our toddlers and specifically how to deal with ” Toddler Food Wars.” Cynthia is a real expert and had some great suggestions for our parents. Here is a list of some of her suggestions:
- It is important to make a statement about what we are eating when offering something new instead of asking if your child would like to try it.
- It is helpful to keep favorite foods away from your child when serving a meal so that your child relies on appetite and eats the foods you want him/her to eat.
- If your child wants some of your food, state that it is your food, take a moment to pause, and then say you are willing to share it with him/her.
- Allow your child to feed himself and keep undesired food around in case your child wishes to try the refused food later on.
- If the main course is refused you may offer up to three alternatives from the same food group.
- Set a good example for your child by eating together and talking about things other than food. (Example: ” You had so much fun at Toddler Group today. What was your favorite activity?”)
- Send only behavioral messages to your child when you have to say “no” to a certain type of food. Don’t offer long, alternative explanations such as, “All of the cookies are gone.”
This is only a brief glimpse of what we learned today. Cynthia always has lots of great information to share with us. We thank her so much for joining us!
Cynthia Epps, MS, IBCLC
Board Certified Lactation Consultant