So much work goes into keeping your kids healthy. But one problem that proves particularly difficult for new parents is when their child is a fussy eater. While most children have erratic appetites that evolve as they age, parents must also encourage their kids to try different foods to ensure they consume a balanced diet.
However, this is frequently easier said than done, as many children simply refuse to try something new or become fixated on a few flavours that make it hard for parents to work around. Here, we offer a few quick tips to ensure your fussy eater enjoys more dietary options and establishes a healthy relationship with food.
Don’t Overwhelm When you’re introducing new foods to your child’s diet, you don’t want them to feel pressured into eating. As they are likely already unsure about something they’ve never seen before, start with a small portion size that doesn’t intimidate. You should also avoid using verbal cues that coerce them into digging in. By not drawing attention to this unknown food and eating the same thing yourself, there’s a good chance they decide to give it a go without needing your extra encouragement.
Increase Variety As you map out your child’s meals for the week ahead, aim to introduce a new dish or two that they haven’t tried before. This increased variety ensures they get to know numerous tasty food items while ensuring they have a few weekly staples that you know they like.
Mealtimes can also include more than one option. Although you don’t want to spend hours preparing various dishes, consider how ingredients can be arranged for several meals that give your child the sense they can pick and choose.
Cook Alongside Your Kids Children often love to hang around the kitchen when parents are getting ready to serve their next meal, so why not involve them in the cooking process? By giving them a simple task that helps them feel in control, they’ll be keen to tuck in when it’s plated up.
This means asking them to choose a recipe or select a couple of vegetables to include in their meal. By involving your kids at mealtime, you heighten how this moment of the day can be fun, collaborative and satisfying.
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