The thought of a toddler eating dog food might seem a little strange. It isn’t anything to get upset about. A little nibble of dog food will not result in the toddler going to the emergency room. It is not something you want your toddler to be doing.
1. Put the dog on an eating schedule.
A good way to keep the toddler from eating dog food is not to make it accessible. If you can feed your dog about two times a day, it might not hurt your dog either. If they don’t eat all their food, it won’t take the dog long to learn to stay on task. Either the dog eats now or has to wait until later.
2. Try new foods.
With your toddler so willing to try new foods, give them other foods to try. These new foods should have the same texture as dog food, but be healthier for humans.
3. Don’t feed them your favorites.
Another reason your toddler might be wanting to eat the dog’s food is, they don’t have your taste buds. So instead of feeding them the foods, you like. Expand your horizons and try something new. Your toddler is another person, with their own opinion of taste, so try giving them something new.
4. Eggs are not just for breakfast.
So many times in life, we get stuck in these silly opinions. An example is scramble eggs can only be eaten at breakfast. But just like our college days, no one says you can’t have cake for supper. So nothing says eggs are just for breakfast. Changing up when different foods are eaten can make it easier to give toddlers other foods to eat and try. Maybe even sneak veggies and other healthy foods into their diet.
5. Change it up.
Does your toddler like the shapes and colors on their favorite TV shows? Why not bring the same experiences at mealtimes. Either use cookie cutters or us a knife, to cut their food into different shapes. Use all kinds of foods with bright colors to engage them.
6. Little helper.
Sometimes having the kid be a part of the whole process could engage them to eat food too. When we say from the start, we mean, maybe start at the store. If you have a green thumb, maybe have them out in the garden, taking care of the plants with you. While at the store, ask what they want, maybe they have eaten something and want it again. Maybe they see a favorite shape or color they have an interest in trying.
7. The Swedish Chef.
Maybe you have an aspiring chef on your hands. While being in the kitchen and cooking, get the toddler in on the food prepping. If your kid is old enough, give them a task to do during the cooking. Maybe ask them questions to get them to engage in the activity.
8. Too Much Too Fast.
Maybe too much too fast might be a little intimidating to your toddler, is too many new foods too fast. Letting them learn to like a new food for about a week or maybe two is an option, especially if your toddler happens to be a picky eater.
9. Break Time.
We don’t always eat healthy either. So why should we expect the same of our kids? It’s not a bad idea to give your toddler and other kids a break on a healthy diet. Maybe a cake once in a while or a small bowl of ice cream. Who can say no to something sweet?
10. Applesauce instead of butter.
We don’t mean putting applesauce on a piece of toast will fool anyone. But instead, try using applesauce in baking instead of butter. For ingredients like butter, it only takes half as much applesauce for the applesauce to be equal. It’s not the only food you can easily replace for something healthier. Another alternative to butter could be avocados. Or black beans ran through a blender instead of flour.
11. Have a little nibble.
Did you know eating big meals is a relatively new concept? Much like other foraging animals. Humans almost always had small meals a lot of the time. The only real-time one big meal was eaten as if a big game was brought back. So only having your toddler eat only three meals a day could be doing more harm than good. Sometimes when they are really hungry, they get cranky and not as willing to try new foods. So small snacks throughout the day could be an encouragement to try something new when the time comes.
12. Who likes eating alone?
How many of us avoid going out to eat just because we will end up being alone? If we as adults don’t like the thought, how can we expect our children to do the same? So when meal times come around, sitting down together to eat can make it more enjoyable, and the new foods go down easier.
13. Feed me, and I’ll feed you.
A fun activity and a bonding moment with you and your toddler could be the activity of feeding each other. Maybe at first, make you laugh a little. But doing activities of feeding each other can bring the two of you closer together. What better way to do it, then to have each other feed the other.
14. Buffet anyone?
The best option for anyone is options. Has anyone ever groan or object when the option of going to a buffet came up? Well, the same logic could apply. Giving your toddler options could give them the guts to try new foods. It might surprise you too, giving you options at other meal times you didn’t know were options.