Have you been struggling to get your child to eat his or her food? Are you hoping to put an end to those dinner time battles, in the hopes of making mealtime more fun and a positive experience? You are not alone. Mealtime can be a nightmare for some families, especially if you have any picky eaters in your family. It’s not always easy to find something your kids will eat. Sometimes, mealtime turns into a battle of wills, in which you end up giving in and making your child something else to eat, just so he or she will stop whining.
The good news is that there are ways that you can help your picky eater have a better experience at mealtime without it becoming such an ordeal. This blog post is meant to provide you with some tips on which foods might work well for picky eaters, and how you can get your kids excited about eating.
Learn how to improve mealtimes in your home with these helpful tips for picky eaters.
Don’t force it
It can be challenging when you’re trying to get a picky eater to eat. However, children shouldn’t be forced to partake in a meal if they are not hungry. This will only create an unpleasant experience, and can make children feel even worse than before, leading them back into their stubborn habits when it comes to eating. Additionally, children who are picky eaters might begin to associate eating with frustration, which isn’t helpful for their eating habits either.
Try serving smaller, more manageable amounts of food. This will allow you and your little one the opportunity to enjoy a more pleasant meal together without feeling overwhelmed by his or her hunger, or fear of being denied sustenance later on.
Create a routine and stick to it
Another helpful way to help kids adopt healthier eating habits is to stick with a consistent schedule. Be sure to serve meals and snacks around the same time each day. If you serve breakfast at seven in the morning, be sure to stick to this schedule every day of the week, if possible. This is a great way to train your child’s appetite and hunger at consistent hours. This will also help reduce their cravings for snacks at random hours of the day.
Introduce new foods slowly
Introducing new foods to young children can be difficult because they are often skeptical about trying something new. However, this does not mean that parents should give up on introducing their kids to a variety of tastes and textures. You just have to introduce them slowly and patiently by starting with foods that are most familiar or safe for your child. For example, you can start with boiled carrots instead of raw vegetables so it becomes less frightening as time goes on. You can also try serving new foods together with their favorite foods until they become more familiar with healthy choices.
Incorporate fun and creativity into meals
Another helpful tip for parents of picky eaters is to try incorporating some creativity into what they’re eating! Try something different by putting sauces or toppings on dishes that may normally be served plain. Or cut out fruits and vegetables into fun shapes and sizes. This can help get kids excited about trying new things while still keeping their favorites in their diet.
Also, be sure to create a pressure-free environment during meal times. Avoid forcing your child to finish the food on his or her plate immediately. Allow children ample time to explore foods and without getting frustrated with them. Otherwise, little ones might end up shutting down and refusing to eat anything at all.
Be a role model
Research has shown that children whose parents have good eating habits are more likely to also develop a healthy diet. That means if kids see their parents drink plenty of water, cut down on sugar and salt-laden snacks, and resist indulging excessively in high-fat foods, they are more likely to adopt the same habits.
You can set a good example for your child by increasing your consumption of healthy foods. Show children how healthy foods like fruits and vegetables are an important part of meals and snacks.
Feeding picky eaters can be challenging, but you can improve mealtime in your home and encourage your child to adopt healthy eating habits with these tips for picky eaters.
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