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When your Toddler Won’t Eat Anything ~ Part 7

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: When your Toddler Won’t Eat Anything ~ Part 7

Sunday, February 3, 2008

When your Toddler Won’t Eat Anything ~ Part 7

We are talking about basic strategies for encouraging your toddler to eat healthy. You can read the first strategies and source information here before continuing.

7. Don’t be too encouraging!

We want to encourage our children, don’t we? We want them to know when we are pleased with them and the decisions they make, so why do I say not to be too encouraging? The basic fact is that our children are rebels at heart… sinful rebels! Before you click the comment link to ask how I can say such things about innocent little ones, think across the last 24 hours of your day. Was your toddler a precious, selfless, sacrificing, and perfectly obedient toddler all day? I doubt it! The truth is that our children were born depraved sinners in need of a savior just as we were, and until they are old enough to understand that and repent of their sin, we have natural born sinners to deal with who don’t know any better!

So how does this have anything to do with getting your toddler to eat? Well… it has more to do with how to get them not to eat really. If your little one is eating, and we are too excited or encouraging about it (“Wow… good job eating all your peas and carrots! Mommy is so proud of you for eating these healthy things!”), it is very possible you’re your toddler will decide he doesn’t want to eat them anymore. Psychologists will offer you all sorts of “scientific” explanations as to the reasoning, but the Bible explains it as rebellion and sin!

Instead, try to remain mellow about the whole process, whether your toddler enjoys something or not. This is something that is hard for me. It is natural for me to say something positive when my little boy is enjoying something I want him to enjoy. When I do, however, I try to say it in passing and not make a big deal of it. On the flip side, if my little boy doesn’t seem to want something, I simply back things up with another healthy choice by having a variety of options available and fall back on the “rule of fifteen”. If the rule in your home isn’t to eat everything offered, then there isn’t a battle to be had.

Just remember, if you are too upset over your toddler’s not liking something or overly persuasive about it, you are apt to turn your little rebel’s tastes in the vary direction you don’t want them to go!

**Side note: I wouldn’t normally encourage you to sidestep your child’s sin or rebellion issues. As I have said before, I believe children should learn to obey the first time and that their will needs to be molded by us as parents in order for them to be in the right place before God. This said, I try not to use food as the main training grounds for this! As I mentioned above, if you don’t make rules regarding how much or what is eaten from the beginning, then there won’t be sin issues to deal with regarding food in the first place.

When your Toddler Won't Eat Anything ~ Part 8

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