Some toddlers find it difficult to eat the same amount of food each day. They might have some days where they eat well, and some days where they appear to eat a lot less. This is because they have a food regulation pattern which is week-by-week, rather than day-by-day. A week-by-week food regulation pattern means that if they don’t eat much on one day, they will make up for this by eating more on another day. There is no single reason for this. Is your toddler is sleeping well, growing normally, alert throughout the day, and not constipated? Then there should be no cause for concern when they eat in a week-by-week pattern. Continue to provide nutritious meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day. Do not keep your toddler at the table to get them to eat more. Give your toddler permission to leave the table, no matter how much of their meal they have eaten, after about 25 minutes. With snacks, allow them to leave the table, if they want to, after about 15 minutes. Take away any uneaten food without comment and then offer the next meal or snack at the usual time.
Your toddler is eating enough, and healthily, if they are:
- Growing normally.
- Meeting developmental milestones.
- Active and energetic throughout the day.
- Alert and interested.
- Not constipated.
- Sleeping regularly and well.
Continue to provide healthy food in a relaxed atmosphere for the entire family and trust your toddler will develop healthy eating habits!