#70: What to say to toddlers to get them to eat (without pressure!)

 Episode art for episode: “#70:What to say to toddlers to get them to eat (without pressure!)”. Pictured is a man and woman talking to their children during meal time.

In this episode, I run through some examples of what you can say to your toddler to create a no pressure environment that gets them to eat. I give you some tips that will make meal time conversations a breeze, and help encourage your toddler to try new foods. Now, they may not try a new food the very first time it’s offered to them, but with exposure and the phrases I’m sharing with you today, your child will learn a growth mindset and be more open to trying new foods in the future. Following these suggestions will create a pressure free environment that considers your toddler’s feelings, and gets them to explore food at their own pace. 

The number one tip I find that works wonders on setting the right environment going into a meal, is to have no agenda of getting them to eat anything. This takes the pressure off of you, as the parent who’s providing the food, and off your toddler, who’s the one deciding how much they want to eat. When you approach mealtime, I want you to think “this is not about eating and nutrition at all” and when you get into that mindset, you can be more neutral in terms of how you speak to them. This removes some of that emotion that may make you say things that can be pressuring. Instead, the focus will now be on using factual statements only. Don’t worry, I’ve got all the examples you need in this episode.

If you find these tips helpful, please take a few minutes to go over to Apple Podcasts to leave a quick review. It would be great to hear from you and get your feedback on this episode, or on the podcast in general. Don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss out on future episodes! 

Additional Resources:

If you’re interested in learning more about how to achieve stress-free, healthy meal times with your toddler, while squashing picky eating in its tracks, then my Feeding Toddlers Course is for you. Sign up today for a step-by-step instruction on how to feed your toddler. 

FEEDING TODDLERS COURSE: https://mylittleeater.com/feeding-toddlers/

MORE ABOUT TALKING TO TODDLERS AT MEALS: https://mylittleeater.com/talking-to-toddlers/

Skip To…

Stop focusing on how much they eat and their nutrition (2:20)

State only the facts and remember to empathize (7:13)

If they don’t like everything – that’s ok! (11:04)

Don’t let your toddler take over your role in feeding (14:39)


meet edwena

Registered pediatric dietitian, mom of two and lover of all things related to baby and toddler feeding!


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