THE INFLUENCE OF DEVELOPMENTAL AND GROWTH RATES ON EATING BEHAVIOUR
As we know, young children have variable appetites and often become picky with food. Why might this be? As a baby your child was fed constantly and grew rapidly. By their first birthday they will have probably tripled their birth weight.
Toddlers and young children grow at a much slower rate than when they were babies so their requirements for food are a little less than many parents expect. As well, they are usually too busy learning about their world to sit still for anything, even to eat.
Children’s limited and sporadic appetites are also affected by their growth cycles or “growth spurts” and by variations in activity. It is quite common for children to be hungry one day or for a few days in a row and then picky the next. They are more likely to eat better (and their requirements will be greater) during periods of more rapid growth.
Young children and fussy eaters tend to do better having most of their food as frequent nutrient dense snacks rather than fewer, larger meals.