Any parent would have experienced it at sometime and become frustrated, the dreaded picky eater!
We all want our children to enjoy a nutritious diet, but getting them to actually consume it can be a challenge at times.
So how do you, the parent, introduce new foods to your child, with an empty plate as the end result?
To begin with your child has a built-in innate sense of how much food their body needs to grow and be healthy, just as a mother knows during pregnancy you could say. It is important then to let your child decide what they eat, let it be their decision…
…although there are clever little “tricks” that can subtly get them to open their mouths and pop in a new taste sensation…
- Structure your child’s eating so that they have three regular meals a day, with a couple of healthy snacks in between. Doctors believe that most picky eaters are grazers so ensuring that your child has set meal and snack times will mean they will be eating when they are hungry.
- Introduce new foods one at a time and in small amounts, and don’t make a fuss! Simply place it on your child’s high chair tray without making a big deal, ideally accompanied by other food favourites.
- When you know your child is hungry try to introduce a new food, different fruits or healthy snacks are ideal at this point.
- SAY NOTHING! As hard as this may be try not to comment on what or how much food your child is eating, if you become the “enforcer” it’s guaranteed they will resist!
- Get them involved! Letting your children help prepare a meal will only interest them and want to eat what they’ve created.
- And finally, dip it! If they won’t eat their vegetables have some of their favourite dips on hand, they will be more likely to try something different if they can disguise it with a little ketchup or mayonnaise.
Remember some children are more experimental than others, if yours is picky don’t panic, their palate will develop over time, just keep to the above guidelines, be patient and they’ll be eating weird and wonderful things before you know it!