“Doctor, do you have medicine that can make my child to eat healthy food, I really long for the days when I fed my child baby food and was able to control his eating habits”
-the common phrase, that every pediatrician listen every day from the annoyed mothers who are fed up with their children’s fussy food habits and are always in search of a solution. Not only kids some women are blessed with picky eater husbands also, really in entrap. What is the solution? How to make picky children to eat healthy food? Let’s see…
Why is my child a picky eater?
Although the genetic link in children with aversion to certain foods had been found in research studies, it is the environmental and child’s surrounding that plays major role in the development of certain food habits. The environmental contributors such as giving in to a child’s irrational food demands, and cooking varied dishes to cater to picky child, needs to be corrected at early stage, other wise the habit can spoil their health status in long run. So Buck up ladies to take control of meal time.
- First limit the availability and access of unhealthy food stuff at home. Most of the items in your grocery list should be a healthy one.
- Be patient, children may not like new food at first time, keep on offering the same food in different ways. Some children may start enjoying food after trying for 10 to 15 times.
- Offer small portion- a little bite or two is enough for a new food, gradually you can increase the amount.
- Don’t force and Don’t bribe- Do not force and yell if child doesn’t want to eat or finish the whole portion of new food. If child doesn’t want to eat, let it be. You may not be succeeding all the time. It is a bad idea to offer a chocolate to child, if he finishes vegetables. Such act will strengthen the idea that broccoli is bad, and chocolate is good. Instead gave them a choice between two healthy foods such as carrots or corn.
- Encourage children to eat healthy food by associating benefits of healthy foods with things they can relate, such as drinking milk will make strong bones, so that he could perform well in sports.
- Get your child involved with the food buying, planning and preparation. Children may be more excited to have a dish that had been prepared with their help.
- Don’t hide or overly disguise food, such as secretly placing bananas in vanilla pudding. Child may eat it unknowingly but wont be able to decide whether he like it or not.
- Again it is good to allow them to have junk foods on occasion that will motivate them to follow your instructions.
- Set example by choosing and eating healthy foods yourself, children will follow their parents. It is best to have meal together with all family members.
“You can’t control or dictate the quantity of food your child eats, and you shouldn’t try. You also can’t control or dictate the kind of body your child develops, and you shouldn’t try. What you can do, and it is a great deal, is set things up for your child so she, herself, can regulate her food intake as well as possible, and so she can develop a healthy body that is constitutionally right for her.” by Ellyn Satter
Best of Luck…
You all are invited to share your success story with us.