Toddlers are on the brink of independence, or so they think. In my experience as a father, as soon as your baby hits 9 months, suddenly they’re ready to explore the world in every way possible. Well, ready to explore in every way except for the palate.
If you’re experiencing sudden fussy eating, know this, you are not alone. Louder for the people in the back, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Every parent experiences fussy eating at one time or another and it’s perfectly normal.
While fussy eating might make you feel like you’re a terrible parent and your child will surely starve, your child does not share these feelings. They still love you and think you’re great, but they’re just experiencing a new time in their life.
Now, this does not mean your little one will never eat new foods again. There is hope! The first step in curing fussy eating is understanding why it happens.
My Baby Is Not Eating Anything What Should I Do?
There are many causes of fussy or picky eating in toddlers.
These reasons include:
- New foods
New colors, textures, and flavors can put children off extremely easily.
- Independent streak
You might find when you try to feed your toddler, they aren’t having it.
- Deciding what they do and do not like
Children of this age are forming decision-making skills and need some wiggle room to figure it out.
The most common reason for fussiness, try some frozen fruits and vegetables and see how it goes over.
- Growth Spurts
Children may shy away from fruits and vegetables during a growth spurt and crave more calorically dense foods.
- Gastrointestinal issues
It is possible your child is trying to tell you something a little bit more complicated than just being finicky. Consult with a doctor if you suspect any internal issues.
It is absolutely possible your child is feeling uncomfortable after eating a specific food and that is why they are calling it quits. Consult with your pediatrician to confirm any allergies.
Anxiety often has this effect on adults as well, but unlike adults, toddlers are unable to communicate this sort of feeling. Exercise patience and consult a physician if you suspect prolonged anxiety.
How To Handle A Fussy Toddler?
Now for the good stuff! Here are some tips that I’ve found useful on my parenting journey with Elle.
- Don’t be a helicopter
Constantly hovering over your child is no way to make them feel comfortable eating.
- Change your language around eating
Try not to use phrases like “good eater” or “bad eater” and don’t label your child as a “picky eater”
- Invite adventure
Eat adventurously yourself and make grocery shopping a family affair. Let your child help you pick something new to eat and try it together.
How Do I Get My Toddler to Eat More?
Overall, be kind to yourself. You’re not doing a bad job if your child is fussy. Trust me, I’ve been on the panic train before and this stage does not last forever.
For exciting places to try new foods with your baby, check out my post on Best Baby Friendly Restaurants in Edmonton