#93: Why Does my Toddler Eat Differently at Daycare than at Home?

Toddlers eating together at the table during daycare

Now that the holidays are over, your family is likely getting back into a routine, and most toddlers are returning to daycare outside of the home. It never fails that every year I get comments from parents like “ Why does my toddler eat so well at daycare, but is such a picky eater at home?” or “HELP! Daycare is concerned about my toddler eating so little at meals and snack time!”

If you have a toddler who literally won’t touch meals at home with a ten foot pole, it can have you questioning if your food is awful, and wondering what the heck they put in the daycare food to make it so magical that your toddler clears their plate. On the flip side, you may be a parent of a toddler who won’t touch anything at daycare, not even the food they typically eat at home – nothing can be more stressful than the thought of your toddler getting no nutrition all day. But, the kicker is.. it isn’t always about the flavour or quality of the food itself, but a combination of other things that play a part in their intake. In this episode I really dig into how the structure of daycare, the peer environment and your toddler’s natural eating patterns can all play a huge role in how much they tend to eat at daycare vs home. Plus, some tips for those who are struggling with the stress of how little their toddler eats at daycare.

Help me make 2022 the best year for the podcast, and make sure valuable episodes like these make it to the parents who need them most! All you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review – even just a quick line about what you loved about the podcast can really help!  Whether you’re a new or loyal listener, thank you for being here on this journey with me 🙂 

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Additional Resources:

BABY LED FEEDING ONLINE COURSE: https://mylittleeater.com/baby-led-feeding/

Starting solids isn’t meant to be just another thing you have to stress over as a parent – it’s supposed to be fun! So, let me help you keep it that way and ensure you raise a baby who loves all food! My Baby Led Feeding Online Course will help you start solids with confidence, ensuring you have the knowledge to gently push your baby through textures to prevent picky eating and be healthy in all aspects!

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

If you have a toddler or child age 1-8 years old and you want to prevent or manage picky eating and learn how to enjoy stress free, happy mealtimes as a family – enroll in my Feeding Toddlers Online Course now! Get started early on curbing unwanted mealtime behaviours before they start, overcome picky eating and set your toddler up to be an adventurous eater! 

FEEDING SCHEDULES FOR TODDLERS: https://mylittleeater.com/14-feeding-schedules-for-toddlers/

For tips on how to implement a feeding schedule for your toddler at home, and help them build up the hunger so they come to the table hungry (and eat more at meals!)!

WHY A LITTLE HUNGER IS NOT AN EMERGENCY: https://mylittleeater.com/why-a-little-hunger-is-not-an-emergency/

Most times, your toddler’s constant snacking can actually lead to picky eating and prevent them from eating meals – plus – they’re learning how to mindlessly eat. Check out the blog to find out how to help your child build up appropriate levels of hunger between meals and avoid constant snacking.

Skip To…

How the structure of daycare schedules affect toddler eating habits (3:39)

Other kids modelling mealtimes can increase intake (7:36)

Pressure free environment and how that affects eating (8:36)

Why they eat more early in the day vs. later (10:17

Tips for if your baby/toddler isn’t eating well at daycare (12:05


meet edwena

Registered pediatric dietitian, mom of two picky-turned-adventurous eater, and the creator of the Texture Timeline™ – an exclusive tool to help move your baby through easy to more advanced purees and finger foods to prevent picky eating.

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