Some great tips for picky eaters
If you're finding it difficult to get your child to sit down for a healthy meal, here are a few tips to avoid the power struggle and help get them on their way to eating a healthy balanced diet.
Consider that they may not be hungry
Sometimes your child just won’t be hungry when you are. After year one, growth levels decrease and your child’s constant need for food may have diminished. If you try to force them it might start a negative association with mealtimes.
Remember they are only little ones so don’t overload their plates. Serve smaller portions and add more if they are still hungry.
Make it fun
Children are more inclined to eat food that looks good. Make different shapes by using cutters. Mix colourful foods. Children love to ‘dip’. Cut carrots into sticks and let them dip into humous or another sauce. Try to mix raw vegetables cut into small pieces and put into colourful tubs. Children may not always like the method of cooking or the temperature of certain foods.
Try to eat at the table with others
If your child sees other children sitting and eating, they will be more likely to follow suit. Minimize distractions by turning off the tv and tablets and have a fun conversations. For younger children, consider investing in a seat that sits at the table as opposed to sitting on their own so that they can feel more included.
Mix it up
Try to put at least one thing on their plate that you know they will eat. Ask them to try a bite of anything else. If they don’t like it..at least they tried. If you keep doing this eventually it may become a familiar taste that they enjoy. Generally children have to try something 10 times before they like it. If you are introducing a new food, just leave it on their plate, don’t push it on them as they may be less likely to try it.
Try adding nutritional foods to family favourites
Puree vegetables into a sauce or cut small pieces of fruit into a yoghurt or cereal.
It can be a stressful time dealing with a picky eater however bear in mind that their eating habits won’t change overnight. Small changes that you make daily will get your little one on the road to a healthy appetite.