Parenthood brings along many challenges!
No matter if you are a new parent or have some experience in parenting, these challenges can be bothersome for everyone. Picky eating is one such challenge parents go through.
You worry about their nutrition but your child is refusing to eat food. What will you do? One of my friends went to the best pediatrician in Islamabad because my nephew stopped eating a lot of food. The doctor suggested some medicine which helped to improve the eating behavior of children. But alongside these medicines, some tips and tricks also helped her to overcome the problem.
Curious about what these are? Read below to find out about these.
How to Deal with Picky Eaters?
Getting picky eaters to eat something you prepared is not always easy, but there are a few tips that can help.
1- Avoid showing disgust or disinterest
Having a picky eater in the house is no fun, but there are things you can do.
The very first thing you need to do is to stop showing disgust towards them. Using the right tools and techniques will ensure a happy mealtime for you and your little one but make sure to not make them feel bad. This requires a lot of patience but also sets your first stepping stone to winning this battle of wills.
2- Eat first to show them
Children are most likely to copy you. Right? You can definitely use this technique to deal with their picky eating habits. Eat in front of them so they might find eating interesting food. Enjoy your food in front of them so they do the same.
3- Make food fun
By making food fun for picky eaters, you can overcome these challenges. Changing the appearance of foods is a great way to make food more appealing to your child. Here are some of the tips that work well here:
- Cut sandwiches into fun shapes
- Use bright-colored foods
- If your child hates mushy or soft textures, serve crisp fruits or yogurt-based fruit smoothies instead
- Use frozen foods as a snack
- Use food face plates are great for your child to eat from
- Focus on plates with coordinated forks and spoons, so your child will have a fun time eating.
4- Use the plate construction method
Another fun idea for your child’s tableware is the Construction Plate. It’s a great idea from Uncommon Goods. This health idea is also great for younger children. This also helps you to add more and more variety of foods. More food choices mean that there are a lot of nutrient options your child can choose from.
Construct a plate of food containing both foods known and unknown to them. Segregate plates into different compartments and put different types of food into them that your child will find appealing and will try them.
5- Small portions increase your chances of a win
When you serve your child new food, try not to serve a large portion at once. This will only make the child feel as though they are being forced to eat. If you are able to keep portions small, your picky eater will be more likely to accept the food. If they still refuse the new food, try offering it a few times before giving up. This will give your child the chance to get used to the new food and learn how to eat it.
6- Don’t make eating a battle
Trying to deal with a picky eater can be a frustrating experience. There is no way to stop them from having a hard time eating, but there are ways to make the process easier. There are two main things to avoid when dealing with picky eaters: conflict and coercion. Conflict will only increase the emotional stress of mealtimes, and coercion will only make the situation worse. If you are able to avoid these two situations, your picky eater will be more likely to accept new foods.
7- Keep stress away while eating
Studies show that stress has a significant impact on the eating habits of children. So, try to reduce stress exposure while eating food. Don’t ask children about their grades or examples. One of the easiest ways to avoid conflict is to not put too much pressure on your child to eat. For example, do not expect them to clean their plate. Trying to force them to eat can lead to a battle of wills, which will only make the situation worse.
Getting your picky eater to eat can be a struggle. It’s stressful and sometimes painful. However, all of these tips can help you to deal with them. But be mindful that it requires a lot of patience and skill to deal with them. If you still experience trouble with eating behaviors, it is recommended to go to a child specialist.