Many parents experience problems around mealtimes with their children. Many children go through phases of refusing to eat, being ‘fussy’ eaters, or having other eating problems. This is often a normal part of growing up.
It's natural for parents to worry about whether their child is getting enough to eat. As long as your child is active and gaining weight, and it's obvious they're not ill, then they’re getting enough to eat.
Try to make sure your child eats some food from the four main food groups - milk and dairy products, starchy foods (such as bread, rice and pasta) fruit and vegetables, protein (such as chicken, fish or eggs), even if it’s always the same old favourites. Gradually introduce other foods or go back to the foods your child didn’t like before and try them again.
After the first year weight gain will slow down. This will affect their appetite. Your toddler may well eat lots at some meals, and barely touch anything during others. The correct portion size can also make a difference. A huge plate of food can seem daunting.
You may feel that your toddler cannot sit still long enough to eat much but they are generally good at regulating their own food intake. Picky eating may also be your toddler's way of showing independence. Many toddlers want to see how far they can push the limits of your authority and try to assert some control. This is one reason why pressurising your toddler to eat will often backfire. Try to keep mealtimes stress-free and sociable.