Feeding your toddler and keeping them focused during mealtime is always a difficult feat for most parents. Not only is it almost impossible to make your toddler eat during a specific amount of time, but it is also extremely hard to make them finish their food altogether.
This is the main reason feeding therapy for kids exists, which is what parents are extremely thankful for. Here, FUNctionabilities and other experts will give you some tips on how you can help your child progress through feeding therapy.
Meet Your Child in the Middle
If you are finding it difficult to feed your children, then make sure to meet them in the middle. Make an agreement and tell them that you should both meet in the middle, in terms both of you agree. For example, for today, you will allow your toddler to eat the things that they want. Then, tomorrow, they have to agree to eat what you will make them eat.
It is all about compromising and disciplining your kid when it comes to meal times and making sure that you do not deprive them of what they love to eat.
This is the number one rule most parents who have kids going through feeding therapy live by. You have to be ultimately patient to make sure that your child will advance with their feeding therapy. Do not shout at them or scold them if they do not want to eat or they seem to be too slow at it. Instead, encourage them that they can do it and that you are always behind them when it comes to feeding and mealtime.
As mentioned, kids tend to react to compassion better than scolding. Be compassionate to your kid and show them that you are listening to their needs and queries and that you are open to change. Do not lose your patience right away and practice lowering your voice if you ever need to scold them.
Be physically and emotionally ready for what they have to say and talk to them the way you would want to be talked to.
Make Mealtime Fun for Them
Incorporate games and even fun types of food during mealtime, so your kids would not get bored during this time. You can even ask their therapist about games that you can play with your kids during mealtime so it will be more fun and interactive. You can also play with shapes and sizes when it comes to food and check if they will grow an interest in it.
The same goes for the taste and recipes — the tastier the food is, the more your kids will love it. Look for recipes that you can incorporate during mealtime and try it with your kids.
Always keep your mind open when it comes to games and keeping your kid interested when it comes to food and mealtime in general. Be patient and ask what you can do to help. Of course, practice, practice, and practice!