Avoid Raising A Picky Eater With These 5 Tips
If your child’s meal rotation looks a little something like cheese toasties, dino chicken nuggets, and butter pasta on repeat, chances are you’re struggling with a fussy eater. While picky eating is extremely common with kids, we’re sure all of the “I don’t like this,” “this is gross,” and “can I have <insert preferred food> instead,” commentary at the dinner table gets on your last nerve.
Luckily, you don’t have to put up with fussy eating forever! Whether you are looking to avoid picky eating habits with your next child, or you want to reverse already established habits, here are a few tips and tricks on how to do so.
Give your child some control
If your child is given some control over what they eat, this could easily increase their interest in food and mealtime as a whole. Depending on your child’s age, take them to the grocery store and let them pick out the veggies you buy, ask them which protein they want to eat that night, or let them help with the cooking.
Prepare foods multiple times
If you give your toddler carrots, and they instantly reject them, don’t immediately mark carrots off the list. Your child may need to be introduced to a food at least 10 times before they take a liking to it. If they don’t like steamed carrots, try pureeing them next. And then roasting them, adding them to pasta sauce, and so on until you’ve exhausted all options.
Introduce different textures and colours
Introducing different colours and textures as soon as possible is the best thing you can do to avoid raising a picky eater. A lot of times, children become scared of foods that are lumpy or green, but if they eat them from the get-go, you have a better chance of avoiding these protests. For picky eaters, slowly reintroduce these foods one by one.
Get creative with food
Focusing on how you present and talk about food to your picky toddlers can pique their interest in mealtime. Fruit in the morning can be arranged into a smiley face. Sandwiches for lunch can be cut into shapes. And your broccoli and cheese side dish at dinner can be referred to as “trees in cheese” vs. its real, less-appealing-to-kids name.
Allow them to refuse foods
In the end, you’ll have to accept that there will be foods your child just won’t like. While it can be irritating, take the plate away and try to keep your cool. When you get angry, your child may start to think negatively of mealtimes, which could in itself turn your child into a picky eater or reinforce bad eating habits.
We know just how frustrating it can be to deal with fussy eating on a daily basis. And while it may be easier to just give in and serve another plate of toast or chips, if you start following these tips, we’re sure you can expand your child’s palette by at least a few foods – and this can make a world of difference.