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Managing your toddler’s appetite at home during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Read time: 4 minutes

Over the last few weeks, we’ve all had to adjust very quickly to our new working and home environments. This includes you and your family changing your usual eating habits. You may find you have different eating patterns, and that your toddler is asking for more snacks than usual.

Read on for guidance on settling into new eating routines and handy tips to keep mealtimes stress-free.

How can I settle into new eating patterns at home?

Don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to help to settle your toddler into new eating patterns at home. The key is to relax – there’s still plenty of nutritious food available and you can adapt to whatever approach is best for your family.

Public Health England recommends your toddler should be having three meals a day from 12 months old, but they also may need two healthy snacks in between meals to keep their energy levels topped up1. Healthy snacks can include things like fruit, vegetables, hummous, or some boiled egg.

Top tips for stress-free mealtimes

  • Try to keep a structured routine for your toddler’s mealtimes as much as you can. Plan a set time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as optional snacks in between.
  • If you think your toddler wants a healthy snack, try offering a choice of three and let your toddler pick one. This can make snack time more interactive and satisfying for your toddler.
  • Take advantage of more time with your toddler, and use this time to make sure mealtimes are a family occasion where you sit around the table together to eat.
  • Although tensions may be higher than normal, try not to offer snacks or food as a reward for good behaviour, as this may be counter-productive.
  • Keep food exploration a part of your toddler’s ongoing food journey. Let them watch you cook, enjoy exploring new tastes and textures together – you could even try incorporating food into fun activities like potato painting.

No day will be perfect so it’s important not to feel the pressure. Remember, our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to help. So if you have any questions, just get in touch

  1. NHS. What to feed your baby: 7-9 months. [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/weaning/what-to-feed-your-baby/7-9-months/#anchor-tabs [Accessed May 2020]

Last reviewed: 27 April 2020
Reviewed by Nutricia’s Medical and Scientific Affairs Team

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Questions about feeding and nutrition?

Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.