Are you having a hard time feeding your kid? Don’t panic because this is perfectly normal especially for toddlers. They don’t eat because they don’t feel like it. According to experts, if your child is otherwise healthy and doesn’t show signs of poor physical condition, you should not worry if he doesn’t want to have a meal.
He will eventually get hungry and eat in due time. It would be best for you to observe your child. If you are worried about his health, try to figure out why he does not want the food through observation. This way, you will get more information out of the child without having to force it out of him.
Why Are Kids Picky Eaters?
There are many reasons why children develop the habit of picky eating. Most of the time, it is because some parents use eating as a form of reward or punishment for the child. They say something along the lines of, “I will let you eat candy if…” or “You don’t get to eat if you don’t do your homework.”
In this case, the child will learn to expect something in return whether positive or negative if he does eat or not. He may develop a sense of entitlement over to the thought of eating only the food that they like. Inversely, they may also develop a fear of eating if the parents use food as a constant tool for discipline.
There are children on the other hand who are just sensitive to various tastes and smells. Because of this, they may not feel like eating regularly. How do you deal with these types of behavior?
You are in luck because this article will give you some tips on how you can deal with picky eaters and make them eat anything that you would put on the table. Just follow the tips below, and you will undoubtedly succeed in feeding your child right away.
10 Helpful Tips to Get Your Picky Toddler to Eat
If you want to teach your child to munch anything that you would put on the table, it is essential that you follow these ten steps. You will surely not go wrong if you keep these bits of information in mind.
1. Lead by Example
The first thing is to be a good role model for your child. You should set a good example in terms of eating whatever is on the table. If you want your child to learn to ingest vegetables, you should lead by example.
Remember that everything that a child learns during his or her formative years will stick as a grown up. If you want him to determine the value of eating healthy food, let him see it in you.
2. Offer Variety
Secondly, you have to make sure that you can present him with different kinds of food selections. A child becomes picky because he dislikes the food most of the time. By showing him with viable food alternatives, you will get the child the power to choose for himself what he wants to eat.
3. Figure Out the Root Cause of the Problem and Resolve It Before Meals If Possible
As a third tip, you have to figure out the root of the problem. Is it a matter of just not being hungry at all? Or does the child feel stressed out? If it’s the former, then you do when it has anything to worry about.
However, if it’s the latter, it would be best for you to talk to your child first before eating. Figure out the reason why he feels unable to ingest food properly. Once you figure it out, try to resolve it together before having a meal.
4. Let the Child Help You Prepare the Food
It would also help the child to see how a meal is prepared and cooked. Try to include him or her in food preparation. This way, he or she will feel more compelled to taste his creation.
He will also learn that it is not easy to cook food, so he will feel the need to consume the food as much as he can. He wouldn’t want to waste anything he helped prepare.
In addition to this, by letting him join in the preparations, you will get to introduce him to the world of culinary arts. You may be able to instill in him a love for food and cooking if this happens.
5. Be as Creative as Possible in Your Food Presentation
Creativity in food presentation is also critical if you want your picky eater to consume what’s on the table right away. Make the food look enticing, and the child will be the one to eat it on his own. He may even invite you to join him.
Take note of the color, texture, cut and overall appearance of the food. Make sure that it will be pleasing to look at. You can even show it to the child after it is prepared to see if he or she likes it. This will entice the children to take a bite even if you don’t ask them to.
6. Mix His Food
The next thing that you need to do is to make sure that you mix his food properly. If you want him to eat something that he doesn’t usually ingest, you can have him eat it by combining it with other ingredients that he likes. That way, he will not notice the difference.
For example, if he likes hot dogs that you want him to eat vegetables, why not combine the two with rice. If you do this, the taste will mix well, and he will be able to eat the plants without any issues.
7. Do Not Give the Child Everything He Wants
As a parent, you have to teach a child about eating what’s on the table. You can’t do this if you give in every time he wants to nibble something even if it’s not healthy for him. Sometimes, you have to learn to put your foot down when it comes to the food that you eat as a family.
He may end up being mad at you for some time, but he will learn to forgive you eventually for sure.
8. Learn New Recipes Every Day
One of the many wheezes why the child refuses to read is because he does not like the food on the table. Perhaps because he had already tasted it repeatedly many times before. To prevent this particular issue from occurring, it is essential that you learn new ways to cook the same food.
By doing this, your charge will not end up getting bored and losing his appetite even if he eats the same kind of food every day.
9. Combine His Favorite Dishes with New Alternatives
Take note of his favorites and think of ways to add that to the menu together with healthy alternatives. If you can do this successfully, then you will be able to introduce into new types of dishes on the list while keeping things as similar as before.
It’s a matter of taking it slow and introducing the child to new things in terms of food at his own pace. This way, the child will not feel forced into something that he does not want to do. It is essential to let the child feel freedom when it comes to choosing what he wants to eat.
This way, you will not develop an aversion to food as he grows up. He may even go up to love it so much that you would have to stop him from eating eventually.
10. Provide Him with Structure
If you want the child to become less of a picky eater, he has to learn to eat on schedule. Make sure that the child can have his meals on time three times a day right from the start. This way, his body will get used to getting its food intake at certain times during the day.
If this happens, you will not have to tell him to eat during breakfast and lunch or dinner. His body will let him know when it’s time to eat on its own.
In addition to this, try to present him with different types of food choices every single day of the week. This way, he will not know what to expect, and he will learn to anticipate every meal as they come.
Furthermore, you have to make sure that you also give him a chance to choose what he wants to eat from time to time. This way, he will not feel constricted by the foods that you have to offer in the kitchen.
What is important here is that he’s able to have a balanced diet. Give him everything that he needs and not everything he wants in terms of food. If you succeed in doing this, he will grow up to be healthy and happy with a voracious appetite for sure.
You will not even have to force your child to get some food at this point. He may also be the one to prepare food for you eventually.
By following the steps above, you will surely give your child a feast for the senses. He will not be able to resist the charm of your food for sure.