Toddlers and Messy Meals: Tips for Parents on How to Manage Messy Eating
All toddlers – yes, ALL toddlers, without exception, are messy eaters. If your toddler is not a messy eater, then he or she is an exception.
There is nothing wrong with messy eating, it is just normal behavior in small children. That’s part of the thing that makes a child, a child, and makes them so adorable!
As the parent of a messy eating toddler, you should know one thing – you cannot stop your child from eating food in the messiest manner, but you can do your best to manage the situation.
Here are tips for parents on how to manage messy eating.
Expect messy eating and prepare for it.
We have seen how new parents or Millennial parents get upset and frustrated when their child throws food all over the place, throws her plate flying across the room and eats in the messiest manner possible.
That’s okay; nothing wrong with that, that’s a part of your child’s normal developmental process. At this age, a child experiments with different tastes and types of food, and ways of eating them. For them everything is new, and everything is a hit or a miss. As a parent you shouldn’t get upset at their messy eating, but expect it.
Keep the mealtimes as short as possible.
Extended mealtimes are never a good idea. Prepare the food before getting your child seated, and get them seated only after you are sure that they are truly hungry. Don’t waste much time cajoling your toddler to eat – if they are hungry, they will most likely want to eat. When they are done eating or have had enough, take the food away, but only after you are sure that they have had sufficient nutrition.
Put only small portions into the plate.
When you put too much food on the plate, the toddler can get intimidated and may start fighting back from the first instance. Instead, be smart about it – put only small amounts of food into the plate. Introduce every new item as something special and as a new challenge. You can make the mealtime fun and interesting for the child this way.
Serve neat and tidy foods.
Toddlers love neat and thickly-textured foods such as applesauce and oatmeal, which are not going to fall off the spoon. They love anything that you feed to them with your fingers, or they can pick themselves with their fingers.
Don’t be too soft on your toddler. Be persistent, and remind them that you’re the adult in the room. As a parent, you have to show some authority, or children – even small children – take full advantage of that and assert their dominance.
Buy proper baby/toddler feeding equipment.
We make specialized equipment for toddlers to that help manage their messy eating and fussy eating. In particular, we make silicone suction plates that stick to the table so that your toddler will have his or her food without throwing the plate across the room or dropping it on the floor.
These silicone suction plates for toddlers are non-toxic, lead-free and BPA-free, 100% safe and come in many different designs and patterns. And yes, they are so cute!
We also make cute looking silicone baby feeding sets with silicone bib and silicone spoon.