Having a child that is a picky eater can be frustrating. You probably worry that they aren’t getting enough to eat to grow properly. This is an age old battle. Here are some tips to get your fussy kid to finish their plate.
Avoid Pressuring Tactics
Don’t threaten, bribe, or cajole your kids into eating. This can have the opposite effect on your picky eater. They may decide that they aren’t willing to eat anything that you put in front of them. Don’t negotiate when it comes to food. If they don’t want to eat, don’t force them. This may seem counterintuitive. There are lots of reasons that kids don’t want to eat. They may not be hungry, or they really don’t like the food you’re serving. Let them try foods in their own way and at their own pace.
Let Your Kids Choose
Take your kids to the grocery store with you. Let them pick out the ingredients for your meals. This will let them feel as though they have some control over what they are eating. Select options that are high in nutritional value. Buy organic bread, like that available from Klosterman Baking Company, over standard white bread. By choosing these types of items you can ensure that your kids will get all of the vitamins and minerals that they need for a healthy diet. They may be more willing to try new foods if you let them decide.
Consider Portion Sizes
Don’t expect your kids to be able to eat the same amount as you. Many parents make the mistake of filling up their kids plates. This may cause your child to feel anxious. Start out with small portions. Try putting only one sprout of broccoli on their plate. This way they won’t feel overwhelmed about how much food you’re asking them to eat. They can always get more if they’re still hungry. Use smaller plates for your kids. This way they feel as though the meal is tailored for them.
Have Set Meal Times
Schedule your meal times. Don’t make the mistake of letting your picky eater snack all day. By the time dinner time comes around, they don’t have an appetite. This may contribute to some of your meal time struggles. Give your child sensible snacks during the day if you don’t feel they’re eating enough. A few carrot sticks or a small apple qualify as a snack. Having set meal times will ensure that they’re hungry and ready to eat.
Getting your fussy eater to like new foods won’t happen overnight. Give it some time and be patient. Serve them the foods that they picked out and add in other ingredients as they get more comfortable.