Has your toddler refused to eat certain foods? Child psychologist, Dr Richard Woolfson, explores the reasons why your toddler refuses to eat
The chances are, your toddler will go through a phase of fussy eating, typically when she’s about 2 (although it can start earlier).
She thinks, ‘No way am I going to eat that,’ and either refuses to touch the food in front of her or just sits there picking at her plate with a terribly dejected expression on her face. You can't force your growing child to munch what you give her.
You can beg, encourage and plead, you can even shout and threaten – but she’ll only eat when she wants to eat. That’s why confrontation with your fussy eater won’t work. Co-operation is much more effective.
Your reaction to your child’s finicky eating habits can inadvertently make matters worse. If she sees you getting agitated by her reluctance (or refusal) to eat, then she soon thinks, ‘This is a great way to get mum’s attention.’ Therefore, the more you react strongly to her eating habits, the more you can unwittingly encourage them.
Most young children would rather have negative attention than no attention at all. This is another reason for taking a relaxed, non-confrontational approach when your child goes through a phase of fussy eating. If you have time, sit with her while she eats, and
chat to her. Your positive attention helps the eating experience become more enjoyable from her point of view.
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk