As a parent, explaining the importance of certain foods to your children may prove to be a hard task than you anticipated. Actually more than 50% of all children in the world are described by their parents as picky eaters which means that they are choosy when it comes to various foods. This comes as a challenge to most parents especially first time parents who have never experience the scenarios of kids rejecting certain foods.
Most parents tend to try hard and force their children to eat the foods they don’t like and this yields in very little or no success at all. Most parent are confused and don’t know what to do with their little picky eaters in the house. A lot of the time, they end up giving in to the demands of their kids and provide only the foods they demand. But should this be the right way to approach a picky eater? Well, here are 10 pieces of advice you never thought you’d hear on picky eaters;
Respect your child’s appetite or lack thereof
Don’t force you child to eat something or a snack when they clearly don’t want the same meal. Don’t try and bribe your child to eat certain foods of he/she doesn’t enjoy that specific type of food. This will only make him/her resist that type of food even more. It is advisable to serve small portions and let them to freely try the foods.
Give them time
Sometimes children need a little more time to adopt to the smell and taste of new foods before they can start comfortably eating them. This means that they can reject these new foods at first and it will only take repeated exposure before they can comfortably start enjoying the foods.
Make it look like the foods they don’t like are very sweet
Want your child to start eat something and stop being picky? Well, make it look like those foods are very sweet. Make them believe that they are missing out on some of the sweetest things in life and within no time, their attitude and perspective towards these foods will change.
Make it fun
Cook the foods the children dislike and try new things with them. Make the food more appealing by trying unconventional things with it. Incorporate shapes into the foods you cut and make it look like real fun. This will make the child more interested and will want to get in on the act.
Shop with your child
Is your child picky? Well, why not take them with you the next time you are out there shopping? Ask them to pick their favorite foods and fruits. Don’t force them to buy anything, just let have it their way. This way your child will be at ease and within no time, they will start listening to your advice on foods.
Let them help you cook
One of the secrets which will help your child overcome his habit of choosing foods, is to always invite them to the kitchen and ask them to help you prepare a meal. This way, they will feel connected to whatever meal they helped you prepare and chances of them wanting to try out the meal they cooked are very high.
Set a good example
If you as a parent are a picky eater, then don’t expect your children to be any different. If you are a picky eater and don’t want your children to grow with the same habit, then hide it from them as much as you can. Set a good example by eating healthy foods and not openly denouncing certain foods and your children will follow suit.
Desserts are not rewards
Some parents make it look like dessert is a reward and an incentive for their children to finish their meals. Although this old trick seems to work and helps children complete their foods, it creates an unhealthy relationship with food when the desserts will go away. This means that they will not be as enthusiastic about eating their foods because they will no longer be getting rewarded for it. This is how children become picky eaters and hate certain foods in their lives.
Don’t always give in to their demands
You child won’t eat veggies? Well, then cook some veggies some days and don’t cook a last-minute meal to make them eat. Make it clear that if they won’t eat the veggies then they will go hungry. They will resist the meals but after a few hours of hunger, they will creep to the kitchen and warm it and eat it. This is how they overcome their picky habits.
Meal times should be meal times
Whether they are going to eat whatever you prepared or not, make it clear that meal times are family times and everyone needs to be at the table. This means that no one will be allowed to watch television or play games while the rest of the family members eat their food.