June 07, 2022 4 min read

 

Nothing is more frustrating than spending an hour in the kitchen attempting to come up with new dishes for your children only to have them refuse to eat them. These tips for picky eaters are sure to help you. Let's get into it.

 

1) Respect Your Child’s Appetite

 Boy pulling a face at his bowl of food

Credit: Parents

 

Don't bribe or compel your child to eat certain foods or wipe his or her plate, either. A power struggle over food may be sparked — or reinforced — as a result of this. Furthermore, your child may come to connect mealtime with anxiety and frustration, or he or she may become less attentive to hunger and fullness signs.

 

2) Use Your Imagination When It Comes to Recipes and Presentations

 

Certain meals' texture or appearance may deter some children. This is why it's critical to make foods appealing to your child while encouraging them to try new things.

Adding a few spinach or kale leaves to your child's favorite brightly colored smoothie, for example, is a terrific way to introduce leafy greens. Chopped vegetables can easily be added to kid-friendly recipes like pasta sauces, pizza, and soup.

Another approach to make foods more appealing to children is to offer them in a fun and creative way, such as by cutting fresh fruits and vegetables into colorful shapes with star cookie cutters.

 

3) Include Your Kids in the Process

 

 Mom and daughter doing shopping for food

Credit: FoodNavigatorUSA

 

A picky eater is more likely to consume food if they assist in its preparation. Participation offers children a sense of ownership in the finished product and allows them to see exactly what's inside the sandwich or salad they're eating for lunch.

Involve your children, especially young children in every step of the process, from selecting a recipe to grocery shopping and meal preparation. Make sure you keep a close watch on what they put in the basket and educate them on the importance of healthy eating. This allows parents to maintain control while allowing their children to make their own decisions.

 

4) Avoid High-Calorie Drinks

 

If your youngster consumes too many calories from juice, soda, or milk, he or she may refuse to eat the foods you prepare. Your child may grow overly full and eat poorly at mealtimes if he or she drinks too much.

 

5) Take It Slow With New Foods

 

Young girl looking at her bowl of broccoli and carrots

Credit: Closer Magazine

 

Young kids frequently touch and smell new foods, and they may even put small pieces in their mouths and subsequently swallow them. Your youngster may need to be exposed to a new food multiple times before taking the first bite.

Encourage your child by discussing the color, shape, smell, and texture of a dish rather than if it tastes delicious.

 

6) Set a Good Example for Your Child When It Comes to Food

 

Your eating choices have an impact on your children, even if you aren't aware of it. Children learn about meals and dietary preferences through seeing other people's eating habits.

Research suggests that young children are more likely to try out new foods if others in their environment are eating them. Increase your intake of healthy foods like veggies and eat them in front of your child at meals and as snacks.

Making healthy eating a habit in your home and allowing your children to see you eat nutritious foods can encourage them to try them as well.

 

7) Create a Meal Plan

 

 Young boys eating their vegetables

Credit: Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials

 

Snacks and meals are both necessary for growing children to achieve their nutritional requirements. Breakfast, mid-morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, and a bedtime snack on a predetermined schedule assures children that a meal will be served every two to three hours and that they will not go hungry. Don't give your child any food between these time periods.

If your child wants to skip a meal or snack, he or she can wait until the next mealtime, which is in a few hours.

 

8) Eat Together as a Family

 

As often as possible, eat a meal together as a family. This means no television or cell phone use during mealtime. Make use of this time to provide a good example of healthy eating.

Serve one meal to the entire family and avoid preparing a backup meal if your child rejects the first. Picky eating will only increase as a result of this. Whether she eats it or not, try to include at least one food your child enjoys with each meal and continue to serve a balanced meal.

 

9) Make It Enjoyable

 Girl smiling with her food in front of her

Credit: MeBeFamily

 

Serve broccoli and other vegetables and food groups with a dip or sauce of their choice. Serve a wide range of vibrantly colored dishes or breakfast foods that children typically enjoy. This will make eating fun.

 

10) Reward Your Child in a Positive Way

 

Parents frequently entice youngsters to try new foods by promising a later dessert or treat as a reward. This, however, may not be the most effective method for increasing food acceptability.

When children are rewarded with unhealthy foods like ice cream, chips, or drink, they may consume an excessive number of calories and eat when they are not hungry. To show your children that you are proud of them, use vocal praise.

 

 Tips for Picky Eaters

 

Summary

 

If you're worried about your child's diet and eating behaviors, make sure you visit your pediatrician. He or she can help you troubleshoot and ensure that your child is getting all of the nutrients he or she needs to grow and develop. Keep in mind that fussy eating is usually a natural stage of growth for kids, especially younger children. 

 

Alex Wittle
Alex Wittle



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