Parenting Tips For Moms

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Teaching Toddlers To Chew?

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  • October 14, 2020
  • MKB Team

Ways to help your toddler chew their food

For parents, getting a toddler to chew food is one of the strangest challenges they might have to encounter. An act that seems natural to us, might not be the same for the babies who are just getting used to the concept of solid food items. Therefore, it is necessary to know the best ways of guiding them in the act of chewing food items effectively.

As simple as it sounds, chewing food is actually not so simple for your baby to learn, initially. It is absolutely normal that your baby has trouble adapting to this new habit, and we are here to make this easy for you with a few simple tips & tricks. Because Moms Know Best!

With a few tips, you can make that more comfortable for him as well as peaceful for you, too.

1. STAY CALM, YOU’VE GOT THIS!

 

Before you even attempt to start teaching your baby how to chew, there needs to exist an atmosphere of peace and calm within you. This can get difficult rather quickly and if the mood of the baby is already disturbed, it is not going to make things easier for either of you. Your own stress can counteract the appetite of the baby and prevent them from any attempts at chewing the food. Keep the mood happy and let chewing turn into an interesting ritual, not a war!

2. PICK APPROPRIATE FOOD ITEMS

 

While it is essential that your child has a variety of food items that provide them with multiple nutrients, the key aspect at this stage is to ensure that the baby chews the food properly, no matter what. Giving them grapes or even popcorn might not be a great choice if he/she can’t chew them well. The risk of foods being lodged in their throat and causing them to choke is quite real.

3. GIVE THEM FOOD ONLY WHEN THEY ARE HUNGRY

Babies find chewing to be a needless activity and would do everything they can to avoid it. A baby with a full stomach will barely even touch any food item that requires chewing. Therefore, turn the tables by offering those items when your baby’s hunger is at its peak. He/she might resist initially, but the hunger will soon take over and leave them no choice but to eat the food by chewing it well.

4. ALLOW YOUR BABY TO FEED THEMSELVES

Babies that refuse to chew are usually very self-driven and want to do things their way. You can use this quality to your advantage as well. Set up their mealtime with the foods in a bowl and hand them a small plastic spoon. The baby will do everything he/she can to use the spoon properly, even if it involves eating foods that require proper chewing. Don’t fret if the baby manages only a few bites. That’s a pretty good start on its own. Those bites are your victory! Sorry, we did mention to not treat this as a war like situation.

5. OPT FOR A FRUIT FEEDER

Fruits are quite essential for toddlers but it can get difficult for kids to chew them well. Some might slurp on them to get the flavour and leave the fruit as it is. In such cases, use a fruit feeder. These are mesh bags that hold the fruit pieces together. Since they are FDA approved, babies can use them to lick and feel the fruit, as well as bite it comfortably.

6. PREPARE SMALL FOOD ITEMS THAT ARE SOFT

Your baby will inevitably mature to a stage where they will be able to eat food items of all textures easily. But the initial stages need to be easy on them. This can be done by preparing tiny finger foods that can be easily eaten. Choose those that don’t take much effort to chew down and even start melting once they are in the mouth.

7. ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO USE A GRABBER TOY

Apart from chewing on foods, children also take their time in understanding how to use their hands to feed themselves. With a variety of food textures, there will be instances where they fail to pick up a fruit from the plate or let it slip out of their hands. These grabber toys can help in stimulating their motor senses and give them the confidence to experiment with chewing, too.

Even if your child shows rapid progress, it is important to keep away from hard food items like chocolates or salads until they learn to chew entirely. These can even harm the gums, at times, let alone the choking hazard they pose.

Once you know how to teach your baby to chew food, the rest of the progress is only a matter of time. Before you know it, your baby would be picking out food from your plate and enjoying it happily.

YAS baby! You did it *mic drop*

 

Published by

MKB Team

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