toddler not eating at daycare

Starting daycare can be an exciting yet overwhelming time in your child’s life. Your child attending daycare can be a big transition from what they’re used to.

Transitions are difficult for everyone, but experiencing your first one as a child can be immensely difficult. This change may cause disruptions in some of their routines, such as their eating habits, sleeping behaviors, and moods. If you notice your toddler not eating at daycare, it’s time to figure out a solution and help your toddler through this new stage in life.

Let’s take a look at just a few common reasons toddlers won’t eat at daycare and the helpful solutions you can try to overcome this issue.

Reasons Your Child May Avoid Eating

A big change can be hard on your child and avoiding eating may be how they’re coping with it. Check out these reasons for why your toddler is not eating at daycare and how you can help them through this transition.

Change in Environment

It’s normal for this change in environment to bring emotional distress to your child. They’re being introduced to all new faces outside of the comfort of their home. Unfortunately, this discomfort during the transition can lead to a change in your child’s appetite and cause your toddler to not eat at daycare.

Sensory Overload

Learning new social skills can be difficult for a child that isn’t used to them. Sensory overload, whether it’s from their peers or the new environment, can easily overwhelm your child and cause their appetite to diminish.

Lack of Time

Having a set time for lunch and snacks may be the reason your baby won’t eat at daycare. If your child is a slower eater and used to having unlimited time for meals, they may feel rushed and won’t finish their food on time like their peers.

Unfortunately, these circumstances can be hard to prevent. However, there are a few solutions that you can work on at home or with your child’s daycare to help your toddler through this problem.

At-Home Solutions

Once you’re aware that your toddler is not eating at daycare, it’s time to take action. Below are a few solutions to try at home if you notice that your toddler isn’t eating at daycare.

Match Schedules

Ask your daycare provider what their eating schedule is and try to match your eating schedule at home with it. This helps your child know when it’s time to eat, no matter what environment they’re in.

Remain Calm

Children are highly sensitive to others’ emotions, so it’s best to remain calm and positive in this situation. Don’t let your child pick up on any lingering stress you’re feeling about them not eating. They may latch on to these emotions and the additional stress can diminish their appetite even more.

Feed Them Beforehand

A great way to know that your child won’t be hungry throughout the day is to feed them a meal at home that you know will keep them filled throughout the day. This way, even if they don’t eat during lunchtime or snack, you can ensure that they’re getting enough food.

Daycare Solutions

Your daycare should also be willing to work with you to solve this problem. Talk with your child’s teachers to learn more about the situation and brainstorm solutions.

Meet the Teacher

Your child’s teacher is with them for a good part of the day and can let you know if they’ve noticed any specific stressors that are causing the inability to eat. You may also want to consider asking if it’s possible for you to sit in with your child during lunch for a few days to help them understand that it’s a safe environment.

Pack Favorite Foods

Make sure that you’re packing food that your toddler enjoys and gets excited to eat. This will have them looking forward to lunch and eating their food when it’s time to eat. It may even help to let them assist in packing their lunch so they can choose what to eat each day.

Talk with Other Parents

Other parents may be going through the same situation, and it can be beneficial to talk to them about solutions they’ve tried. Every child is different. It’s helpful to get the perspective of another parent going through your experience.

Find the Ideal Solution With Cadence Education

Cadence Education is the best option for your child if you’re looking for an easy transition from home to school. We provide a safe and nurturing environment aimed at easing the discomfort of this new stage in life. Our strong communication with parents allows us to support your child to the best of our ability as they navigate a new environment. Overcoming these obstacles with your child is only the beginning of the positive impact Cadence Education can have on your family.

If this sounds like the educational environment you want your child to thrive in, find a Cadence Education school near you and start the enrollment process today!