If your child is not the one who pleasantly eats. Perhaps he totally refuses or just eats very little definitely is a reason for you to worry. Babies are expected to triple their weight in their first year and that is why making frequent feedings is essential. However, an average child only gains about four or five pounds between his first and second birthday, so his appetite will inevitably drop. Also, it may also have something to do with the child being at a stage when little one is declaring his independence.
Even though it seems scary if your child has not eaten for a while, you should not be worried if he is well, with no fever, sore throat or is not vomiting. Just be calm and try wait this phase out. As long as toddler is gaining weight normally and meeting developmental milestones, you can be sooth yourself that everything is fine. But it is almost impossible to feel totally calm. Parents often feel like they are not doing a good job if their toddlers do not eat. But you should know that your main job is to provide your little one healthy choices. It is your child’s job to decide how much to eat. You cannot force a toddler to eat, it is totally his decision. And because the drive for independence might be a factor in mealtime resistance, putting pressure on his may encourage him to refuse the meal even more. So here are those tips and advices to help motivate reluctant eaters.
You are the role model
Try sitting down and eat meals with your child. By seeing you eating he might want to take you as an example, so eating with him should be very helpful.
It is simple for toddlers to become grazers, eating nothing but low-nutrient snack foods. Having breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks at more or less the same time each day you might find really helpful too.
Watch for too much liquid
Saving some milk or juice only for mealtimes and bedtimes is helpful, so that kids are not walking around all day carrying their bottles or sippy cups.
Prepare food for children with them
Be sure to offer your little one a choice of ingredients to toss in the blender for his morning smoothie. Perhaps you will even make some fun activity out of this advice, like letting your child to use a cookie cutter to create fun sandwich shapes.
Negotiating will not help
Making mealtimes stressful will definitely not increase your little one’s appetite. You may give him a little nudge, but if your child does not respond, it is much better to back off.
There is no such a thing as perfect parent
And be sure not to forget to go easy on yourself as well. Parents should not think they are doing something wrong if something unexpected happens. And precisely this case is more about the child’s development and temperament than parenting. If you keep offering, at the end he will take in enough calories to promote normal growth.