Most children go through a phase of picky eating in their toddler years, and it's worrying when your child is not following a balanced diet. But difficult eaters can be won over with some simple tips.
Whilst mealtimes are a great opportunity to spend quality time with your children, it can get quite challenging when there is a picky eater in the midst. Rather than it becoming a battle of wills, a calm approach can resolve the matter quickly. Usually as babies turn into toddlers, they become more aware of what they are eating and start voicing their likes and dislikes, which can change daily. The trick is to be patient. Eventually all children grow out of these fussy eating phases. Remember you are not alone, almost every parent goes through this.
Here are some fun ways to conquer those fussy eaters!
- Switch off the the T.V and other devices, so that it’s one-on-one family time.
- Minimize snacks or drinks before meals so that your child comes to the table hungry and ready to eat.
- Do not force your child to try new foods, instead show them how delicious it is. Their curiosity will get the better of them.
- Incorporate food they dislike in items they're more likely to eat like soups, fried rice, noodles or even smoothies. This is the easiest way of getting your child to eat a balanced diet.
- As children become older, involve them in preparing food. They'll be more willing to try out what they have cooked.
- Do not give too much attention to a fussy eater. They'll perceive this as acceptance and will continue to show reluctance.
- If it is a matter of spice, then be accommodating to the child, as long as they are trying and eating a balanced diet then their tastes will change as they grow into adulthood.
- Make family mealtimes a fun and joyous occasion. Minimize attention given to split drinks or other unwanted behavior. This distracts from getting the picky eater to focus on their foods, an it might even make them too anxious about trying anything new.
- If a child is a persistently poor at eating then deviate to a routine that works for them especially in the early years, the child might graze constantly rather than eat three main meals. Eventually all children grow out of their fussy eating phases. The key is to be persistent and patient.