My Toddler Keeps Having Tantrums Over Her Food. What Should I Do?

Toddlers are hard to deal with when it comes to so many things. They know what they want yet they don’t have the words to tell you. Many times you will prepare something that they simply do not want and they wonder what your problem is for not preparing them what they really wanted!

They will scream, yell, hit, bite, kick, and throw the food you so lovingly prepared clear across the room. What are you supposed to do? Why is your toddler acting like this? It makes you crazy and you believe your little toddler has been possessed by a demon. Don’t lose your temper, though. Instead, include your toddler in meal planning. This may seem like a big request, however you will find that it is quite helpful when it comes to your toddler having tantrums over her food.

First, think of two things you readily have on hand that would be a healthy meal for your child. Take them out and let your toddler choose the one they want. You could simply ask if they prefer peanut butter and jelly or chicken nuggets. Ask if they want green beans or lima beans. When you give them an option they will pick what they want and they know they are making their food choices. They feel more in control and independent for making their own choices. Since they picked the food out they will be much more likely to eat it!

Another way to avoid tantrums is to lower your expectations. Don’t expect your toddler to always eat what you eat. IF you have a salad every day your toddler is probably going to resist. If you love tuna salad but your child doesn’t, then don’t make them eat it. Find foods your toddler really seems to enjoy and then prepare these foods. You should introduce new foods periodically, but do it from your own plate so if they don’t like it or throw it on the floor you haven’t wasted an entire morning preparing a healthy meal that gets thrown back at you. You won’t resent it as much and you can move on to another food your toddler will eat.

Some professionals recommend you take your child’s food away until they behave. This may work with some toddlers, but it doesn’t work with all of them. In this case, you may want to make some changes. Perhaps your child hates her high chair and that’s part of the problem. Consider buying a booster seat so your little one can eat at the table with you. They will feel included and like a big boy or girl.