Dealing with Picky Eaters
Getting kids to eat food is definitely not a joke!,,infact, getting them to try a new veggie or a new dish is so tough. They have issues with foods that look green, that taste sour, which have tomatoes....everything is a problem..i just dont understand why they refuse to try anything..i wonder if the older generations were like this, or is it because i had a picky eater i feel this is the only tough generation ?! They ask for something to eat and by the time we prepare it, they dont want it anymore...ufff, thats it ! We have to do something about changing this frustrating pattern. Lets get started ...
To deal with picky eaters, we have to start with very small portions. Use positive words such as 'This is a very small bowl of boiled green peas, it is so easy to eat', instead of threatening the child using words such as 'if you dont finish it faster, i am going to take away your toys'. Once the child finishes the offered peas, give him/her a favorite food. Appreciate even if they try just once or two pieces of a new food or vegetable, though it is frustrating and disappointing that you made it spending your time and they try only a bit.
Offer new foods during snack time, incase they dont like it, their mood or after-taste will not spoil their interest to eat a meal. Keep offering a certain new item again and again, instead of asking once and stopping to offer again if they refuse the first time. Offering kids treats and drinks more than healthy foods such as fresh fruits, dairy and vegetables tends to decreas their interest to try the latter ones, as they know they have an alternate choice. You offer only healthier food, they will have no choice but to accept to try it. Spacing snack time and meals is also important..appropriately spaced snack time and meals do more good to them, compared to the too closely spaced schedules that force them to not feel hungry and end up not eating properly and leaving them disinterested to eat well.
Making friends with healthy eaters is a smarter option, as kids learn silently and tend to mimic friends most of the time. I understand that a bad company spoils everything, friends of your kids may be good eaters but if their parents dont follow healthy rules, their kids end up eating more of unhealthy foods and then you child goes their for playdates and learns the same stuff...who will you explain ? Will you teach their kids to eat healthy, or will you explain their parents the harm unhealthy foods do to anyone..would they even listen, forget about following you ?! Hence, it is so good important to teach about nutrition and food values to our own children. Parents should be the examples for everything good...you eat fruits and veggies and they will follow...even if you dont like a certain food, kindly dont annouce your disinterest aloud. Also observe if your child has any food allergy or any irritation and if that be the reason he/she is refusing to try a certain food the second time.
Go slow and steady with introducing new food. Follow a Step by step speed. Introduce another new food only after the child likes a particular new item she/he has tried and liked and eaten thrice. Eating together at a dining table, as a family brings alot of better change...right from the day of the child's first solid food, if they sit with the family for meals, they observe everyone having the family meals and register that they eat what the family eats. Meal time should be the best family time of the day, every day. Handling picky eaters is easier when we keep our cool, with no frustrations amd jitters. Pediatricians say that most children pass through this stage during their 3-4yrs age. Keep this in mind and dont worry...once this phase fades outs, you will naturally see your child trying new foods and asking for new tastes....very soon your picky eater will be a healthy eater.