Tips for Picky Eaters
6 Ways to Encourage Your Picky Eater to Broaden Their Horizons
As a parent, you want the best for your kids. That means making sure they get proper nutrition.
This task isn’t always easy. Many kids are picky eaters, refusing to try the kinds of foods that supply the nutrition they need.
Don’t worry if your child is picky. This is actually a fairly common issue. Research indicates children might be more sensitive to certain flavors than adults. Yours will probably grow out of their pickiness eventually.
In the meantime, you still need to make sure they’re eating properly. These tips will help.
Set a Good Example
Studies have shown that children are very likely to learn eating habits from their parents. If they see an adult role model consuming a type of food with enthusiasm, they’ll be more likely to develop a taste for it later in life.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your diet is balanced and nutritious. Kids aren’t going to think being forced to eat well is fair if you’re not eating well too.
Don’t Bribe Them
Many parents think getting a child to eat well is as simple as bribing them with a treat. “Eat your dinner, and you can have dessert.”
This may work in the short-run. However, it will also lead your child to associate eating well with completing a chore. You want them to appreciate eating well as its own reward instead.
Stock up on Nutritious Snacks
This may seem like an obvious point, but parents with busy lifestyles often forget to buy nutritious snacks to keep in the home, opting to instead buy the kinds of snacks their kids ask for.
Don’t make this mistake. Always include healthful options on your shopping list, making sure they’re available in your home whenever your child is hungry.
Eating well isn’t just about providing vegetables that kids will eat. Kids also need protein and other nutrients that are more likely to be found in meat and fish.
This is a good reason to make a variety of different meals throughout the week. Exposing your child to many different types of foods early in life helps them grow out of pickiness more quickly.
There are plenty of ways to make eating well and trying new foods fun for a child. Maybe you can involve them in meal prep. A child will be more interested in trying something new if they helped make it.
Or, turn eating into a game. Serve up some crunchy veggies with hummus or another nutritious dip, blindfold your child, and have them try to guess what each one is. Of course, with younger kids, you can simply arrange food on their plate in the shape of a face. Making mealtime a little more playful goes a long way.
The most important point to remember is that you can’t give up simply because your child refused to try a particular food. Persistence is key.
While it can take patience, helping your child to eat better is very important. It’s also easier than you may assume. If you have a picky kid, these tips will help you change that.