Toddlers and mealtimes can all be a bit of a guessing game. One day they eat enough to feed the entire family and other days it seems they are on hunger strike.
Some parents find this an anxious time - worrying even. But really, toddlers can just be like us and somedays they're just not as hungry as the next. It is usually not a cause for concern.
One thing that can help get toddlers into a routine is having set meal and snack times. Often and very easily toddlers get into a habit of grazing. Snacking for most of the day and never really getting hungry. When they get used to eating at the same time each day, they will expect it and usually have built up a hunger by mealtimes.
Each little one’s eating schedule will vary depending on the time they wake up in the mornings, if and when they nap and if they have siblings with school runs, activities etc.
The goal is to keep it achievable for you and consistent each day. Letting your child learn the feeling of hunger before a meal and the feeling of stopping when they are full also helps your child to learn the cues of their own body.
Here is an example of a simple schedule:
7 am- Breakfast
9:30 am- Snack
12 noon- Lunch
3 pm- Snack
6 pm- Dinner
Small snacks could include:
Yoghurt and raisins
Grapes and cheese
Crackers and fruit
Veggie sticks and hummus
Unsalted rice cakes