Food Fight! Tips to Get Your Toddler Eating



The biggest struggle of my day lately is getting my 2-year-old to eat. Up until a month ago, she ate everything I prepared for her without a fight. Now, a typical mealtime consists of whining, crying, kicking and throwing her food, followed by a huge headache for mom! “Snackies” she says, as she tries to pry open the cabinet to find the hidden stash of fruit snacks. If only fruit snacks delivered all the nutrition she needs! Here are some tips to get our tricky toddlers eating right:

1. Offer healthy options: As parents, the best we can do is try! It’s important to remember that kids will take in what they need because it is truly out of our control whether they eat or not. Offering healthy choices will allow our kids to make a decision on their own, but we know that their options are either eat healthy or don’t eat. Begging them to eat will create a power struggle and likely end in frustration.

2. Don’t forbid foods: If your child wants something, allow them to have it as a small treat during the day or after a meal. Forbidding foods — fruit snacks in my case — will make your kids want them more just because they know they aren’t allowed. This then creates a struggle for you. You’re still in control here if you politely ask your child when they would like their treat. Remind them that after this they won’t have another opportunity for their treat until tomorrow. Once they understand this, the struggle is over.

3. Be a healthy teacher: Do as I say, not as I do? We all know that doesn’t work when there’s a toddler in the house. The best way to teach our kids to eat healthy is to eat healthy ourselves. Make sure to include lots of fruits and veggies on your own plate and express their deliciousness while eating them. This is a great way to simply enjoy our own food without putting pressure on our kids to enjoy theirs.

4. Find out what they’re willing to eat: Who knew a toddler could meal plan! Try sitting down with your child when they are calm and ask for their help in making a list of foods they would like to eat. Doing this will help your child develop decision-making and problem-solving skills while also increasing the likelihood of gaining cooperation during mealtime. Tip: try using images of the food.

5. Enlist their help in cooking: Start by printing out a few recipes that you’d be willing to try and let your child choose from your selection. Next it’s time to hit the grocery store. As you’re pointing out the foods you need, try explaining briefly how those foods help our body and why it’s good to eat them. Then get cooking! Remember to stay patient and encourage your child as they help. Tip: try this on a day where you aren’t rushed or stressed about getting dinner on the table.

Another tip: Get your toddler started on Reliv Now for Kids! A daily Reliv shake (recommended for kids 2 and up) includes the essential nutrients to keep their growing bodies healthy, plus advanced ingredients to boost energy and mental performance.

Do you have any tips on getting your picky-eater eating? Share your stories in the comments section below.

4 thoughts on “Food Fight! Tips to Get Your Toddler Eating

  1. hello i come from a family of 5 others mom & dad & Rae Ellen & i & tami jane & ted mom & dad are both gone now but i do remember mom feeding us what was than healthy foods here is a list of what was that to be healthy foods back than

    2. meats

    even than it was a challange to maintain a healthy diet iam so greatfull to the reliv people for investing time & money to come up with a prodict as healthy as reliv now & lunasin x

  2. This is so true! I struggled to get my toddler to drink her shakes after she realized that I *wanted* her to drink them (the power struggle you mentioned). I bought fun straws to put in the shaker cup and let her pick a straw to use, and then she happily drank her shakes. Flavoring them with Innergize always helped because she could use which flavor. But if we’re struggling to get her to eat (now at 3yrs), my husband will say that he’s going to eat what’s on her plate and it becomes a competition which of course she *has* to win 😉

  3. Any recommendations on getting a stubborn 4 year old to take her Reliv Now for Kids vitamins? I am trying to introduce it to her, but she doesn’t like the taste. I’ve tried including it in applesauce, mixing it in ice cream or milk, and adding Innergize to it. Nothing seems to motivate her to consume it. She’s also not a big drinker, so diluting it in a large glass of milk or water only guarantees less of it will be consumed. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Mary, thanks for your question. This can be a challenge and it looks like you’re putting in a great effort. As far as picky little eaters go, you can mix the product with ice cream, yogurt, pudding, applesauce or any kind of juice. You can mix it with pancake batter or sprinkle it into hot cereal. You can even try mixing it with ice cream in the blender to make a real shake or mix it with milk or juice and fresh fruit to make a smoothie. As far as baking with the product goes, while the effectiveness of the products may not be as great when baking the Reliv products, it is acceptable to do so. Many individuals mix the products in foods and still have great results. The only thing that is important to remember is that the higher the heat, and the longer it is exposed to heat, the more quickly the nutrients degrade. You can try muffins, cookies or bars which tend to be baked a lower temps. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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