Kids are notorious for being picky eaters. Don’t worry, this is a natural part of a child’s development. How can you ensure your child is getting the nutrients they need when they refuse to eat? Here are 5 tips to help:
1. Set times
Creating set times for meals and snacks allows you to establish a routine for yourself and your children. It also helps to cut back on grazing throughout the day which could lead to skipping meals or not being hungry at mealtime. Mealtime is the ideal opportunity to model good eating habits to your kids. When they see you eat a variety of foods or try something new, your child pays attention and chances are they’ll want to try it too.
2. Let your kids help
Allowing your child to help prepare meals is a great way for them to be active in the selection process. It teaches them how to make something and works the brain muscles at the same time. It sparks creativity and interest. Your child is more likely to eat something they helped make and even try new foods in the process.
3. Switch it up
Let’s be honest, eating the same thing every day the exact same way gets boring. Switching up your menu, the foods you eat, and how they’re presented allows your family to stay interested. Preparing foods in a variety of ways gives your child more options. They may not like raw crunchy carrots but love them roasted with a little seasoning. So, don’t just try it one way every time — switch it up.
4. Prepare one meal
It can be easy to get caught in the trap of making something different for everyone at the table. This allows your child to control mealtime and only enables a picky eater. Make just one meal for the whole family, no special orders. Serve a variety of foods so your child can find something they like. As time goes on, they will eat more of what’s on their plate and expand their taste pallet.
5. Don’t give up!
Just because your child says no to broccoli today doesn’t mean they won’t say yes next time, or the next time. Remain calm and stay the course.
As parents, it’s important to set a good example. If you never try new foods, most likely your child will not either. Make it a goal to find a few things from each of the five major food groups that your child does like. Each food group provides important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential to your child’s health.
If you have concerns that your child is not getting enough food or refuses to eat from one of the five food groups, call us today to schedule a consultation. We are happy to help you create a plan that works for you and your child.