Other bursts of fussing and whining and throwing one's self onto the floor we are still working on. What causes the behavior? Is he expressing his emotions or is he trying to get a rise out of us? No matter the circumstance teaching a toddler the correct way to communicate is not an easy feat. But as parents I think we are getting better at handling each situation as it arises and Little C is slowly but surely learning what is acceptable and what isn't.
- Don't make your toddler multiple meals or items to eat until you find something they like. What you put together the first time is what is for dinner and they need to understand that.
- Try to offer them multiple items on their plate to chose from and try separating each item (they make handy dandy toddler plates for this). Be sure to include various textures and colors of food.
- Once they start throwing a fit, playing with their food instead of eating it, throwing their food, etc., dinner. is. over. Period. Take the child down from their seat and explain that they are done.
- Give ample praise when it is due. If they try something new, if they eat most of their meal, if they eat ALL of their meal, etc. Make sure they know when they are doing something right.
- Toddler's love to dip things! They only need a dollop but I swear the food disappears faster if he can dip it in ketchup, BBQ sauce, marinara, etc.
- Don't get too hung up on them not eating enough. At first I was always so concerned about him going to bed hungry. I would try and try and try to give him multiple things until I found something he would eat but then he would only have a couple of bites and be done with it anyway. Your toddler should be able to tell you if they are hungry. If they eat three bites of dinner and say, "all done!" then they are done. Most kids eat more at certain times of the day. Little C is a beast when it comes to breakfast and he will often eat well at lunch, but when it comes to dinner it is always hit or miss. He also snacks efficiently throughout the day so I know he is getting enough to eat.
I hope you like the post at Mile High Mamas and please share here any tips or tricks that work well with your little one regarding dinner tantrums or tantrums in general.