Toddler Emotions at Mealtimes

Sometimes a toddler doesn't have problems with food, it’s their feelings about food that causes the hesitation at mealtime. A child who becomes emotional when two foods touch each other or screams when a brightly colored veggie is placed on his plate is communicating his feelings.

To help with emotions at mealtime here are a few tips:

- For a certain type of eater, food is emotionally driven by textures, temperature, smells, colors and even how it is presented. Try to keep at least one of these features consistent – like having the Happy Mat for all meals.

- I have had success with these types of eaters by talking about their feelings surrounding food. 'I’m mad' 'I’m scared' and 'I’m frustrated' are common themes. I make food art with my clients that depicts these emotions. Food art can be a fun way to get kids feeling curious about a new food, which is the first step to eating it! Check out our cute Bell Pepper food art showing some fun emotions. Food art is an excellent conversation starter at mealtime!

Happy Feeding!


Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP


Dawn Winkelmann, a.k.a “Ms. Dawn”, has treated thousands of kids across the globe by helping families overcome picky eating stages and food refusals, while adding new foods into their diet. Her high success rate is attributed to Ms. Dawn bringing her education, experience, sense of humor and her favorite feeding products to the family dinner table.

You will find Ms. Dawn’s expert feeding advice to be positive and fun for the entire family! She adapts complicated feeding/swallowing research and makes it practical and easy for parents! Get ready to learn the science behind your favorite feeding products and ways to bring happy family mealtimes back!