Guest post by Yumble.
Do you have any picky eaters at home?
This can be so frustrating for a parent. You want your kids to get proper nutrition, but that can be difficult if they refuse to eat certain foods.
It’s important not to worry too much if this sounds familiar. Researchers point out fussy eating is a relatively common issue among children, and that there are many reasons kids are picky. Luckily, little ones tend to grow out of their pickiness eventually.
That’s not to say you can’t help them along. As a parent, there are plenty of steps you can take to get your children to eat a food they insist they dislike. The following are some of the more noteworthy tips to try:
Don’t Give Up
This is definitely a basic point. However, it’s worth starting with.
Too many parents abandon their plans when struggling with picky eaters. They assume if their kids refuse to eat a particular food now, they always will.
Don’t make this mistake. Children’s taste buds are different from those of adults. As their bodies develop, they often find they’re able to genuinely enjoy foods they once disliked. In other words, you may need to be persistent when convincing them to be less picky. The fact that they won’t eat certain foods now doesn’t mean they will always dislike them.
Don’t Offer Bribes
It’s tempting to bribe your children when trying to get them to eat foods they aren’t crazy about. Telling a child they can have a treat after eating their meal first is a common tactic among parents.
It’s also a bad idea. When you offer a reward, you’re implying that the food your child doesn’t want to eat is a punishment or chore. This ensures they’ll continue to associate negative feelings with that food.
Toddlers are often more likely to eat certain foods if they are presented in fun and unique ways. For instance, you may be able to arrange the ingredients on your child’s plate in the shape of a face or similar image. Simple tricks like this can have a major impact on younger eaters.
Get the Kids Involved
Kids are also more inclined to try new foods if they were involved in preparing them. If you want your kids to be less picky, let them help you cook or even prep meals more often.
Avoid Getting Angry
Again, trying to convince a picky eater to try certain foods is definitely a frustrating situation for any parent to be in. That said, it’s important to not get angry. Your job is simply to provide food for your child. They’re the one that needs to decide to eat it. If you treat meals as punishment, that’s how your child will learn to think of them.
Remember not to worry if you have a picky child. Odds are very good he won’t be picky forever. In the meantime, these tips will help you expand his palate on his own terms.
One caveat, from Jenn…If your child has special needs, like sensory issues or autism, don’t fret. Make sure to have him on a high-quality multi-vitamin, without folic acid.