It is important for your children to eat the right kinds of food as this is where they get the vitamins and minerals. These are the building blocks enabling them to grow strong and healthy. However, if your child is a fussy or picky eater, it can certainly pose some challenges. Your child can be limited in their ability to get the nutrients they need as they refuses to eat certain kinds of food, or don’t want to eat anything at all.
Here are some practical tips you may consider to help your child have a balanced diet.
Don’t force your child to eat
If your child isn’t hungry, don’t force him to eat what is presented to him. Similarly, although tempting resists the urge to bribe or oblige your child to finish his meal if he doesn’t want to. In cases where this happens some children begin to associate mealtimes with feelings of anxiety and frustration. The results being that instead of being encouraged to eat, he can shy away more from the dinner table. An alternative to forcing your child to eat or finish his meal is to serve him small portions and give him the opportunity to ask for more on his own.
Patience is key when you’re introducing new food to your children. Most young children don’t take well to new foods so repeatedly exposing your children to them will help familiarise your children with the taste, smell, and texture of the food you want them to try. Another way to encourage your children to try new foods is to serve new foods alongside their favourite meals.
Make mealtimes fun
Make mealtimes more interesting for your children if they are fussy eaters. For example, serve vegetables with a special dip or sauce—one that would appeal to their palate. You can also cut foods into various shapes or prepare meals using brightly coloured ingredients.
Ask your children to help with the meal preparation
To make your fussy eater more excited about mealtimes, include him in grocery shopping with you and ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Keep in mind to refrain from buying any foods your child won’t eat so this remains a fun activity for him. At home, encourage your child to help with the meal preparation. Ask him to rinse the vegetables, set the table, or do tasks that he can easily accomplish and appropriate for his age. By having an active involvement in the preparation of the food the family will eat, your child may be more inclined to enjoy the fruits of his labour.
You may also want to consider using Puraforce Stress Drops that may assist with frustration and anxiety that you may have associated with meal times in your home. Also, my “new foods” audio may also be very helpful to play to your children at night time before they go to sleep.