More often than not, toddlers undergo the picky-eater stage. In effect, parents often worry about the slow weight gain. Most doctors say this is normal because this is the phase wherein toddlers develop their own food preference. Likewise, this is the stage wherein they have increased mobility skills – running and playing all day long! If you are a parent of a toddler with similar issues, these are some tips to help increase your child’s weight gain:
- Give them healthy snacks every other hour. Choosing healthy snacks over junk foods can indeed make a difference for your toddler’s weight gain and total nourishment. Check the grocery store for healthy but really delicious snacks – oatmeal cookies, cereals, dried fruits, etc. Or if you have the luxury of time, you can make healthy bite-size snacks that your toddler will surely love eating!
- Get creative in feeding them full meals. Sometimes telling a story while feeding your toddler helps him eat more. Pretending that the spoon is a car, a train or an airplane often excites the child and in effect, encourages him to eat spoonful after spoonful. Try different methods until you discover what works best for your child.
- Limit physical play time. Introduce activities that do not involve running and jumping. Toddlers usually have the energy for physical play the whole day, which when allowed, can make them burn more calories than normal. Set time for physical play as this is also healthy for the mind and body. After which, set time for less exhausting routine like painting and reading. A well-balanced schedule will be helpful in the child’s formative development!
- Let them have regular sleeping schedule. It is always recommended for toddlers to have afternoon nap. Make his bedroom a conducive place for sleeping even in the middle of the day. Tell your toddler the importance of sleep – that he needs it to grow bigger and stronger. Once you’ve followed a pattern of sleeping schedule, your toddler will stick to the routine even without you asking him to do it. A good afternoon nap is a much needed rest for your toddler to be recharged for the rest of the day.
As a parent, you should not be frustrated whenever your toddler seems to be slow in gaining weight. Be reminded that there are strategies to help them gain more. Like in any other things, always be patient in encouraging your toddler. Rest-assured you will be raising a physically and mentally healthy child when you have the patience and the right techniques to do it.