Getting things into toddlers

As time goes by, I am discovering a few neat little tricks for getting my daughter to eat or drink. Whilst I don’t believe in pressuring her, at the same time I would rather not let her starve if I can find an easy way to get her to eat.

The first trick is not to offer it to her. I’ll give her a bowl or a cup full of something and say, “Go and see if [insert today’s favourite toy] would like some of this. I think he’s hungry/thirsty.” Then eating and drinking becomes a role playing game to share with the toy, rather than some annoying chore for me to keep bugging her about.

The second is to use different containers. So far this morning, Elspeth has had some apple juice from a tiny pink plastic teacup, and some from a larger cup with Peter Rabbit on it. Oh, and some from her usual sealed bottle with a straw, too.

The third trick, which I am only just beginning to use, is to involve her in the creation, preparation, or serving of meals. Being not yet two, I feel that Elspeth isn’t quite ready to embrace this fully yet, but she will go and get her own bib from the drawer and will carry bowls full of food to her special table. As she gets bigger, she’ll be able to do things like pour the milk onto her weet-bix, and so on.

These tricks, so far, are simple and convenient, and low-pressure. And if she still decides she doesn’t want something – why, then she goes without!


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