I once knew a mom who struggled with her fussy eater, at home, at birthday parties, on travel trips. But, this child’s toddler tantrums resulted in paranoia? Even yummy foods, such as pizza couldn’t find it’s place on her plate. Bell peppers, and broccoli and cherry tomatoes would end up on the floor? I thought I would never have to face such problems (because we are lacto-ovo-vegetarians and our generations have grown seeing greens around)…
Until, one day it happened to me! And in under 8 months, the condition became severe.
In just 8 months, my healthy newborn, then infant was growing into a picky eater. And, not one fine day, but over a period of a few weeks, I became the mom of an extremely-fussy toddler. What could I’ve done? Should you ignore toddler tantrums? Or find out ways for how to deal with toddler tantrums of such magnitude? At that point, I could relate to every mom (of a picky eater) under the sun. The pain to carry your child’s only and fav dish packed in a tiffin box huddled together with something more nutritious in the hope that the child will eat something new in a distracting environment… to a birthday party, in the airplane, and even to ‘your’ fav restaurant. I want you to know how I dealt with it.
One day I met that mom’s friend who was sailing in the same boat. Thought a coffee date would help. She struggled and I was struggling too. But, she overcame her battle, and in that two-hour-long coffee date; I learned some interesting ways to make mealtimes fun rather than stressful. Read on to know more! Why kids being averse to eating vegetables is my worse nightmare coming to life.
How to deal with toddler tantrums:
1. Fear of new or unknown foods
Known as neophobia, is a natural behavior, also amongst the most popular toddler tantrums 2-year-olds throw around.
2. Bitter things are undesirable
Kids would tell you that they don’t eat vegetables because they are bitter. Tell them that the naturally-occurring calcium and phytonutrients which causes bitterness is needed for them to play outside and have fun, and chances are- they will think – ‘Oh, really!’
3. Sour-tasting foods are confusing
Our palette evolves. As we grow older, we suddenly have a liking for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lemons, and the like. So, don’t stress. If certain veggies aren’t a hit in the first few years, don’t give up, but don’t stress too much either.
So, my lovely readers here is the mother of all toddler tantrums 2-year-old and 3-year-olds have.
How to tackle toddler tantrums of not eating vegetables – 5 Fun ways:
1. Introduce textures and tastes at 6 months
Doctors generally advise starting solids once your baby is 6 months old. Many moms generally start with plain pureed texture but my friend did something different with her son. So following her suggestion, I made my daughter eat whatever I cooked for myself and my husband. It was obviously a was well cooked and mushier version. This way she was introduced to different tastes and textures right from the beginning. Plus it was easier for me too as I did not have to prepare separate baby food for her. And trust me, this is one of the major reasons why my little one eats so well now. You must start early to avoid these toddler tantrums (3-year-old often get away with.)
2. Let your child get mucky with gardening
Toddler tantrums 2-year-old has are of another level! Mealtimes used to be immensely stressful for me. She just refused to have green vegetables on her plate. My friend suggested getting small vegetable plants in our terrace garden, and she also pushed me into gardening with my toddler. Believe it or not my little one had a great time picking out those tiny tomatoes and peas. In a playful manner, I explained to her the importance of veggies in our daily diet and voila she sort of understood. This trick worked like magic. So, there I was, one big battle won. I was now positively moving towards resolving one of many other toddler tantrums (Urvashi, says with pride.)
3. Seek your little chef’s help
I make all three meals for my family by myself. Since we live in a nuclear setup, my little one spends a lot of time with me in the kitchen. She helps me with getting veggies out of the fridge and washing them. This has not only helped her learn all the vegetables names and colors but she has started to eat those food items for whose preparation she helps me out. Another great way for handling such toddler tantrums.
4. Shapes are always helpful
My friend told me that kids love food in different shapes, so if you want to avoid toddler tantrums 2-year-old then get some cookie cutters from your nearest store. My daughter was not fond of potato, so I made these baked stars and heart-shaped potato cutlets and she was more than eager to try them. Yet another great way to handle toddler tantrums.
5. You are your little one’s first teacher
If you want your toddler to eat that broccoli and carrot salad, you must also eat that with her. Kids learn a lot from their parents. So, to handle toddler tantrums, include a variety of vegetables in your daily diet as much. My daughter started eating sweet potato when she saw her dad eating this nutritious, weight-gaining food once a week!
Dear mum, you don’t have to freak out if peppers, carrots, and even broccoli are on your kid’s no-eat list. The child will eat it- eventually. What really matters is to find the root cause for why the little ones are avoiding veggies and resolve those issues first (mentioned above).
Now that you have all the tips to handle toddler tantrums for eating vegetables, go ahead and use them right away. If you have any other interesting tips for these toddler tantrums then please mention in the comments below.