Is your child a picky eater? Does he refuse to eat some meals because of their color or texture? Does he play with the meal and just never seem to want to eat? Don’t you worry: this kind of behavior is quite common with kids of 2 – 5 years old. As long as your child is full of energy and develops normally, it might just mean that amount of food he eats is enough for his body to be healthy.
So how can you fight this selective eating issue?
– Let your kid sort out the food products when you go shopping. Let him choose fruit and veggies by himself.
– Ask your kid to help you cook his meal for today: let him choose the right ingredients, peel vegetables and mix salads. Children love tasting meals they cooked or helped cooking.
– Give your kid some choice. Instead of asking Would you like some cauliflower for dinner? ask Would you like some cauliflower of broccoli for dinner?
– Have fun during your family dinners, talk to each other. Discuss something interesting, something fun, talk about how your day was. Don’t try to argue or resolve some family issues or conflicts while you are at the family dinner table.
Try new kinds of food
Cook a meal for all of your family. Don’t try to think of a separate menu for your kid: he’ll be just fine even if he eats later and not right now.
Does your kid feel suspicious about unfamiliar food products? Nothing to worry about; it happens. Some kids refuse to eat something they never tried before. Here are some tips that might help with getting your kid interested in the new food products:
– Small portions may do the trick. Let your child try just a little bit of new foods or meals that you like. Remember that it’s very important to be patient and never insist that your kid should empty his plate. After your little one gets used to the way this food tastes, it will be easier for you to plan your family’s menu for a day.
– Offer your kid one new food product at a time. Put it on your kid’s favorite plate.
– Set an example for your child: try something new willingly. Describe the way the food tastes, its texture and smell with as much emotion as possible. This way you will get your kid interested in trying something new.
– Offer new foods to your child either between the main meals or in the very beginning of a main meal, when your kid feels hungry.
– Sometimes it takes time to learn new foods. Your child won’t just probably say yes to try something new at once. Offer it to him later… and if he’s still not sure about this food, try once again. Who knows? Maybe your little picky eater will eat an unfamiliar food product after the tenth attempt. Just don’t insist.
Make the cooking process fun!
Be creative; try to get your kid interested in cooking together with you. For example, you can task him with cutting shapes out of fruit and veggies and adorn his meals with them.
– Cook some new meals or snacks you have never cooked before with your kid, and let your kid make up his own names for them. Create new tastes; mix your favorite meals with low-fat sauces. Try humus or salsa as veggie sauces.
– Give your meals your kid’s names if he helped you cooking them. When you’re serving your dinner, draw everyone’s attention to the fact that today you are having “Mary’s salad” or “Johnny’s potatoes” for dinner.
Remember that this picky eating issue is a temporary problem. If you don’t pay too much of attention to it, it will go away by the time your kid goes to school.
Find out the reasons of child selective appetite and more other effective ways to solve this problem in our previous articles.