Common Toddler Feeding Problems

Common Toddler Feeding Problems

1. Table Manners:

It is never too early to instill good habits. Table manners can begin as soon as your child begins

eating for instance teaching our child not to talk with food in his mouth is not only good

manners but can prevent choking or gagging.

How can you do this?

Be patient because mealtimes are a messy situation but make sure your child is not tired and did

not have a snack for at least an hour before the meal. As toddlers explore new foods and work

on mastering eating with a spoon it can be a big mess but they should be able to control their

spoon by 15 months to two years.

Common Toddler Feeding Problems

Plan your action if your child is flinging food or banging his spoon the best reaction is no

reaction. Do not make his actions the focus of attention. Not easy, but you can do it. When the

child realizes that his actions are getting him no attention, usually, he will stop.

Sometimes, you must take stronger action by removing the child from the table and placing him

in “time out” even in the high chair until he is ready to join the family with better manners. (Be

aware of teasing siblings).

Children look to their parents for clues about how to behave at the table so parents be good

models and praise your child for their good manners.

2. Constipation:

Constipation is common among toddlers. It occurs when the body produces a hard dry stool.

Drinking enough fluids and eating enough roughage can easily correct the problem.

Sometimes your child may be fearful of painful bowl movements if constipation becomes

chronic and resist the urge to have a bowl movement .Fluids such as water, prune juice, diluted

fruit juices and fiber rich foods such as whole grain breads, broccoli and cereal. An easy way of

figuring out how many grams of fiber your child should have each day is to add five to her age.

Hence a two year old needs 7 grams of fiber a day. Avoid bananas, cheese and rice.

3. Gagging:

Everybody gags-it is a lifelong automatic response that helps prevent choking. Your toddler

may gag if he has too much food in his mouth or if he does not like the taste or texture of the


Your toddler should be relaxed-not running around with food-and do not force him to eat more

than he wants.

Make sure your toddler’s food is cut into bite size pieces-for instance cut grapes, watch out for

raisins, olives, nuts and popcorn.

Quick story –My toddler, as I was changing his diaper one day, I saw this black thing up his nose.

Oh God! It was a raisin and I could not get it out!!! I thought, if he breathes in hard the raisin

will go into his lung. I picked him up and very calmly, (shaking like a leaf) got into the car and

drove like a nut case to the emergency room. (My husband was home with the other kids). As I

pulled into the parking I heard the BIG AACHOOOO- He sneezed and out came the raisin! Of

course, I started to cry and then laugh hysterically with relief. So watch out for those raisins!

If your toddler gags or chokes frequently, please see your doctor

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