How often has this happened to you? You are joyfully preparing a meal for your little one, takingyour timewashing the veggies and fruits carefully, cutting them in perfect pieces; and cooking or attractively decorating the plate for serving it to your child.
Your little one hasa glance at it, makes a rejecting face, and says, “Ewww” or “Noooo”. Frustratingly cute, isn’t it?Well, it may seem cute at first, but this can result in a habit among the child; and frustration among the parents.
However, it is observed that a kid rejecting the food served to them is most common during the agesof2 to 5 years, where you often experiment by serving them with different foods. This process usually denotes their reluctance in accepting new foods. Thus, they are termed as picky eaters.
Although kids resist new foods during their nascent years, their taste buds usually change over time. It is during this time;parents need to remain calm and be tactful in devising strategies to assist and encourage their children in discovering new tastes and exploring new foods.
Here are some usefultips for parents who find it hard to ascertain proper food intake by their picky eater.
Identify your child’s appetite and routine
Most parents tend to force-feed their children, thinking that the child has not consumed all that is served on the plate. Well, this can sometimes be untrue. Parents must be aware of their child’s eating capacity and observe the period or intervals at which yourchild feels hungry or asks for something to eat. It is best suited to serve your child with smaller portions at regular intervals, to ensure that their appetite is balanced, that is, neither too full nor too empty.
Be steady in approach
Young kids often smell their food even touch it, when something new apart from their favorite food is served to them. Sometimes the child will take a bite and then pull it out from the mouth as well. Our advice is – do not panic.Your child may need to be encouraged 2 or 3 times while they aretrying new foods. This can be done by talking to them with regard to the color, shape, and aroma of the food. Do nothesitate to mention the taste instantly. Put the child in a comfort zone by steadily ensuring that they start with small bites and later spoonful or mouthful!
Involve your childin cooking
This approach is fun-filled as well as a bonding one. You should let your child help you withthe process of cooking. Let them explore the kitchen, cautiously. While they help you in preparing various dishes, they will feel a lot more comfortable eating those, knowing that they have contributed toits preparation. You must also take inputs onraw, cooked or boiled preferences, from your child.
Be creative in decorating
Kids – as playful their nature is off the dining table – also crave for some silly moments and fun while seated at the dining table. Make sure tobe creative in decorating and serving food to them. You may like to arrange or cut the food in attractive shapes and create funny faces by arranging various finger foods. This will create an instant connection between your child and the food, and within minutes, they will chew the food down.
Don’t be a short-order cook and avoid bribing
Most important for all the parents, always prepare and serve the same food to all the members of the family. If your child resists the food served, do not give an option or prepare another meal for them. This way, once the child becomes hungry and sees other members relishing their food, they will start consuming the food without further resistance.
Also, do not give bribes of dessert, chocolates or other delicacies of their choice, if they are not willing to eat the food served to them. This way, the child will come to know that you cannot be manipulated so easily; and will bring a mild control over them as well. You may want to surprise them with treats, once they gobble up their food!
Remember, being a picky eater is almost every child’s nuance during their growing years. We advise you to be patient, tactful, creative and caring; and do your best to ascertain your child’s growth and development by serving them nutrition-rich foods.