Babies and toddlers have days when they are more hungry than on other days. During the toddler years, appetite diminishes in relationship to a slowed rate of growth, and strong food preferences are normal. Illness affects appetite, as does teething. And adding new foods and textures to your baby’s or toddler’s diet may slow him down or cause him to lose interest in his food. You can expect times when your baby dawdles during his meals or gets very picky about what he eats. So, here are some useful tips to help you cope up:
- Make sure the portions are not too big. Too much food may appear overwhelming and thus diminish appetite.
- Avoid force-feeding and making food an issue.
- Make sure the food you serve is in a form he can eat easily. (For instance, your baby has no teeth, his food need to be soft.)
- Be sure there is an adequate interval between meals and snacks.
- Serve liquids at the end of the meal to avoid having him fill up on these.
- Avoid high-sugar foods and between-meal snacks, which may blunt his appetite. This includes juice before meals.
- Serve a variety of foods.
- Serve food in a colorful and creative way. Eye appeal stimulates the appetite.
- Make mealtime pleasant. The atmosphere at the the table has an enormous effect on appetite, as well as proper digestion.