Staying Calm During Meals With A Toddler

Toddler meals are tough. Picky eating, power struggles. Here's how to cope.

Is feeding a toddler harder than you thought it would be? Picky eating, refusing foods, power struggles. Doesn’t your kiddo know you’re just trying to help him eat healthy food so he can grow?

I honestly thought feeding kids was going to be easy. Working as a dietitian before I had kids of my own, I certainly told enough parents the relatively simple guidelines. Don’t pressure them at the table, don’t have an agenda, just make a variety of healthy foods available then back off.

I really thought the problem was that these poor parents just hadn’t been told. Hadn’t been told how simple it is. That they didn’t have to micromanage, kids will naturally eat what they need, given the opportunity.

I firmly believe in this advice. But before I had my own independence-craving toddler, I didn’t know what it would look like. I didn’t know what resistance would feel like. I didn’t know that “this works” doesn’t mean “it works instantaneously every time.” That results are gradual; they might not be noticeable until months or later. I expected that a little. But what I DID NOT expect was my own emotional reactions to perfectly normal kid eating behavior. Irritation. Frustration. Exasperation. Anger, even. Continue reading “Staying Calm During Meals With A Toddler”