Have you seen these cereal commercials where the boy in the advert eats everything with delight? Some parents should be so lucky with their kids. If you have a picky eater on your hands, here are five strategies to deal with them.
Five practical strategies for dealing with picky eaters
Kids have their own rhyme and reason to eating. While some will eat everything you put in front of them one week, they will fight you at each meal the next. The first thing to remember is not to over react. Kids will be kids as they say.
Your children are not testing you. Their food preferences change with moods and their age. Resist the urge to shove food in their mouth when they refuse. They may not be hungry at that particular moment.
1. Introduce new foods slowly
Maybe they got used to eating macaroni and cheese for lunch. If you want them to eat a jam sandwich this week, they may not want to break their routine. Instead, give them some macaroni and cheese and a quarter of a jam sandwich. They can see if they like it and still have something on their plate that they will eat if they don’t.
2. Save drinks for last
It is a common practice to serve a drink with the meal. Smaller kids love to drink. Filling their stomach with liquid will diminish their appetite. Later, when the drink fullness wears off, it’s bedtime and they are whining for food. Let them eat when they are hungry and serve them something to drink after they have eaten at least half of their meal.
3. Ask your child what they want to eat
If they choose to have breakfast at lunch or dinnertime, let them. The important thing is that they are eating. Your choice of food selection will provide them with the nutrients that they need even if they eat only a little.
4. Let kids help with meals
When they can see what you are fixing and participate, it can stimulate their appetite. It is not recommended to snack while cooking but for your kids, a few celery or carrot sticks won’t hurt. Be aware though, that too much snacking will spoil their appetite.
5. Have children sit at the table with you.
With finger foods, kids are prone to walk around with their food if you let them. Also, sitting in front of the television to eat distracts a child and can mess with his or her appetite. They would rather see the show than eat their food.
Is your child a picky eater? Use these five strategies to deal with mealtime issues.