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Community Questions - Making meal times less stressful?

"I'm finding meal times with my toddler stressful in that she won't eat what I make for her even though she loved the same meal last week. Do you have any tips for making meal times less stressful? My partner works late so I'm on my own at dinnertime and it's exhausting.."

Fussy eating is so stressful - we've been there! Here are some tips that we found helpful for this phase and hope you find helpful, too. Remember this is a common phase for toddlers (it's part of their development) & you aren't alone!

  1. Sitting down to eat with your toddler can help - especially if you eat the same meal as what you have given them. Modelling behaviour from you can help them to reduce fussiness at mealtimes.

  2. Try to make sure you aren't adding sweet foods into a savoury meal - they will more often than not prefer the sweet flavours in their meal! Offering a variety of flavours throughout the week can help to avoid tantrums if they aren't offered a sweet dish as they will be used to getting a range of flavours.

  3. Adding textured and finger foods to your toddler's meal when they start solids can help to reduce fussiness as they can explore and play with their food - which is actually great for their development and familiarity with different types of foods! Adding bite-sized pieces of soft fruit and veg to their meals so they can pick up pieces of food themselves can make meal times more fun!

  4. Try to relax and take a deep breath - trying to encourage your child to eat certain foods that they are rejecting can make things worse. Using positive encouragement and modelling behaviour is the best route to go down in our opinion!

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