Looking for some tips for feeding your toddlers rice? This mom shares her ways and tips to make your toddler eat rice.
Are you one of the parents who worry much about their kid’s health for not eating rice? Are you thinking that your child is not having enough nutrition because he/she does not like rice?
Struggling to feed your toddler? You are not alone!
Well, you are not alone! There are several mothers from the Mommy Communities on Social Media I am in who are worrying about the same feeding challenge in their child just because of skipping rice!
We cannot blame ourselves for thinking that rice is one of the important foods our kids need, because we are Filipinos and we grew up in this culture that rice is essential, rice is our staple food.
From breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes even in between, meals are not complete without rice! Look at other Nationalities aside from Asians, they are not actually fond of rice, some just take Cereals or Fruits for Breakfast, Sandwiches during Lunchtime, and Mashed Potatoes and Meat at night time. Knowing this, we need to take away this concern that rice is a must-consumed food for our kids.
At this stage, ages 1 to 4 years old, kids do normally have their different feeding challenges. Their attention is limited, they get bored easily and want to move around, so their mealtime will eventually turn into playtime. This indeed is a challenge to us parents. Our patience and dedication in feeding them are hundred percent required!
Let me share these 6 tips for feeding toddlers that I personally did try with our 27-month old daughter. It has been a trial-and-error for us before we came up with our consistent feeding time routine.
6 tips for feeding rice to your toddlers
1. Know the ‘’Why’’
First of all, we need to know the cause why your kid refuses to eat rice. Is it too dry for him to eat, Is it too wet, Is it too mushy? Just observe him/her every mealtime.
As I have experienced with my daughter, she does not like to eat rice when it is mixed with bits of meat or vegetables. She just wanted rice only if it is plain and only when partnered with clear soup (Nilaga or Sinigang or Tinola).
Knowing this, you will consider him/her in preparing your family meal in the first weeks to establish the eating of rice to him/her.
2. Eat together
Aside from the beautiful saying that “the family that eats together, stays together”, bringing every family member to the table during mealtime is one good practice as a sign of love for each other.
This also will work for your toddler to eat his/her food seeing the parents and siblings are eating too. Remember, imitating is one effective way of learning for this age group.
When kids see you eating fish, they might as well eat fish too. When they see you eating greens, they will eat it too. Take advantage of the fact that they love copying actions from the elders. As a mother, you also need to finish your plate quickly in order to guide your child with his/her meal when needed.
Eating together also means that there must no other distractions like TV, cellphones, or toys. By doing this, you are also training them to finish the meal first before doing anything else.
Tips for feeding toddlers
Picky Eaters Decoded: 8 tips on introducing healthy foods to kids
How to stop a picky eater from saying no to the food you’re serving
6 Mom-tested tips to get your picky eater excited about food
3. Turn playtime into mealtime
If tips #1 and #2 won’t work for you, try taking over playtime into mealtime. This means that you need to be creative and very patient in taking control of this ‘meal time’.
Pretend-play with him/her as if dining in a restaurant or playing spoon-airplane or involving his/her favorite toy. The goal is to get his/her attention to making him/her eat. You know your kid, you know how to get his/her attention, but remember, be very patient!
4. Eyes eat first
Kids easily get entertained by sound and colorful things. Why not make art with food! Mold the rice with many different shapes, add different colors of food such as carrots and peas, tomato, leafy vegetables, etc. Use attractive plates and spoons as well.
5. Rice substitutes
For the first weeks of observation, you have an option to replace rice as the starch of his/her meal. Bread and Mashed Potato or Sweet Potato (Kamote) are two common food items that can be an alternative for rice.
I tried this many times, my child would choose bread several times more than the rice. But now, since she used to eat bread, she still wants bread even if she just had finished her rice!
6. Help start the habit
After observing and knowing your child’s feeding problems, resolve them and help them build that habit. Always be consistent and never tolerate even a little rule-breaking. Studies show that building a new habit, takes about 21 days which is about 3 weeks. I can testify that this refers to adults, but with my girl, it took her a week and a half. Again, no distractions and be consistent.
These feeding problems of our little ones require our full attention and patience. Feed them intentionally. You are not just feeding them for their nutrition, but you are also training them to appreciate whatever food is served at the table.
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