Feeding kids: 10 tips for picky eaters

 Feeding kids: 10 tips for picky eaters

Baby feeding doesn’t have to be frustrating. Follow these strategies to avoid fostering conflict and help the picky eater in your family eat a balanced diet.

Baby Nutrition: 10 Tips for Picky Eaters

Page contents

an introduction

Appreciate the child’s appetite, or rather his lack of it

stick to routine

Be patient with new foods

Make it fun

Ask your child for help

Be a good role model

Be creative

Avoid distractions

Don’t give candy as a reward

Do not substitute healthy meals for others

Does your preschooler refuse to eat anything but chicken nuggets? Or does your little one prefer playing to eating any food at all?

If baby feeding is a sore topic in your household, you’re not alone in it. Many parents worry about what their children are eating or not eating. However, most children get a lot of different foods and nutrients in their diet throughout the week. As your child’s food preferences are finalized, consider these tips for preventing mealtime conflict.

Appreciate the child’s appetite, or rather his lack of it

If your child isn’t hungry, don’t force him to eat a full meal or snack. Similarly, don’t reward or push your child to eat certain foods or clean his plate; This may trigger or intensify conflict over food. In addition, your child may associate mealtime with anxiety and frustration or have less sense of the cues of hunger and fullness.

Offer small portions of food to avoid overburdening your child and give him the opportunity to ask for more on his own.

stick to routine

Serve full or light meals at about the same times each day. You can serve 100% milk or juice with food, but water should be served between full and light meals. If you allow a child to fill his stomach with juice, milk, or snacks throughout the day, this may reduce his appetite for full meals.

Be patient with new foods

Young children often touch or smell new foods, and may even put small amounts of them in their mouths and then take them out again. The child may need frequent exposure to a new food before he takes his first bite.

Get your child to talk about food in terms of shape, flavor and texture, and don’t ask if it tastes good. Also, introduce new foods to your child’s favorite foods.

Make it fun

Serve broccoli and other vegetables with your favorite dip or sauce. Try cutting foods into different, attractive shapes with pie cutters and serve breakfast foods for lunch. Also, choose different, brightly colored foods.

Ask your child for help

Ask your child to help you at the grocery store to choose fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. And don’t buy anything you don’t want your child to eat. At home, have your child help you clean vegetables, stir food, or set the table.

Be a good role model

If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child will most likely follow you.

Be creative

Add broccoli or green peppers to your spaghetti sauce, top your cereal with slices of fruit, or mix shredded zucchini and carrots into casseroles and soups.

Avoid distractions

Turn off the TV and other electronic devices while eating. This will help your child focus on the food. And remember, TV ads may also prompt your child to crave sugary or low-nutrition foods.

Don’t give candy as a reward

Holding sweets sends a message that sweets are the best food and this may only increase a child’s appetite for sweets. Choose one or two nights a week for dessert, skip dessert for the rest of the week, or redefine dessert with fruit, yogurt, or other healthy options.

Do not substitute healthy meals for others

Preparing a separate full meal for your child after he or she refuses the original meal may prompt him to choose food items. You should encourage your child to stay at the table at the time allotted for food, even if he has not eaten. Continue to offer your child healthy choices until he becomes accustomed to and prefers them.

Consult your child’s doctor if you’re concerned that food selectivity threatens your child’s growth or development, as the doctor can mark your child’s stage of development on a growth chart. In addition, you can write down the types and amounts of food your child eats every three days, as a more comprehensive picture may help relieve your concerns. A food log may also help your child’s doctor identify problems.

At mealtime, remember that your child’s eating habits won’t change overnight, but the small steps you take each day can help encourage healthy eating habits for a lifetime.

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