It is quite normal for kids in the age group of 2-4 to voice their opinions about their eating choices. This behavior of the picky eaters frustrates the parents and makes them worried about their childâs nutrition. Here are some tips that can help you to deal with picky eaters.
Let your child assist you in kitchen activities
Recruiting your kid in kitchen activities makes him more innovative. You could take him with you to grocery shopping. Let your child snap and rinse vegetables. Allow him to choose the vegetable that will be included for that nightâs dinner. You can assist older kids in adding ingredients and mixing batters that are away from heat. Picky eaters love to relish the food that is partly or wholly created by them. Donât forget to appreciate your kidâs effective job that night. Tell your family about how he or she helped you in the kitchen.
Become a good role model
Kids are easily influenced by the behavior of adults in the family. Therefore you should eat variety of healthy foods, so that your child also follows the same. If you dislike eating healthy foods, you can add a twist in preparing them. For example if you donât like broccolis, you can try using it by dipping it in cheese sauce or cooking it along with butter and salt. You should not talk about the calories or diet when you are eating with your kid. Also remember not to mention the negative facts of the food because your child may also start to dislike that food. Avoid watching televisions during meal time as this distracts your kidâs concentration on eating.
Encourage your child to try new foods
Children’s food habits vary and they naturally refuse to accept new foods. If your picky eater rejects a new food donât panic, offer him the same a number of times. It is evident from research that a child accepts a new food when he is offered the same repeatedly. He becomes familiar with the new food and finally attempts in tasting it. Prepare the same meal for the entire family. Donât let your child leave the table unless other members are finished with their meal, whenever he eats with other family members. By watching your family eating, your child will develop better eating habits.
Presenting nutritious food with fun
Donât offer your child milk or snacks one hour before the mealtime. When your child is hungry, he is more likely to accept the food that is offered. Stock your kitchen store with vegetables, fruits, cheese, whole grains etc. Place slices of fruits like apple, banana and avocado on a plate and keep it in a place that is easily reachable by the child, so that he snacks them once in a while as he plays around the house. Serve the treats sparingly and try offering pretzels, whole grain granola bars, yogurt, peanut butter and fruit smoothies for snacks. Children are more attracted to fun shapes on their plate. Use cookie cutters to make desired shapes of fruits and vegetables. Include more colors of vegetables and fruits as they are more appealing to the kids. Shift your meals to the backyard where the kids enjoy eating and can experience a restaurant atmosphere. Sometimes, you can also have a tea party in your kidâs bedroom. All these factors help in eliminating the kidâs negativity towards the kitchen table.
Consider the portion size
Stick to a regime of serving the meals and snacks at the same time of the day. Your kidâs belly is the size of his fist. He needs time to accept variety of solid foods. Consider serving him a quality food. When the child says he is not hungry, respect his appetite. Initially serve your kid with nutritious food in small amounts. Give him an opportunity to ask for a second serving. Never force him to overeat which may lead to indigestion. Tell him the importance of the food relating it with some of his favorite cartoon characters. If you still find your child is facing underlying health issues, you need to seek the advice of a pediatrician.