As a parent, you may be frustrated when dealing with a child who is a picky eater. Your infant may have eaten anything you gave them – but as kids get older, it’s more likely that they will become more picky about what they eat.
So, how can you deal with a toddler or a kid who is a picky eater? Here are a few tips.
Don’t Force Your Kid To Eat If They Don’t Want To
It’s your responsibility to feed your child as a parent. But it’s your child’s responsibility and decision to eat it. If your toddler or kid does not want a meal and refuses it, don’t force them to eat it.
If you pressure your kid to eat at certain times and punish them if they don’t, they will not learn good eating habits. They may even start to dislike foods that they’d otherwise eat happily. Don’t worry. Your kid will be hungry eventually, and you can feed them then.
Avoid Bribing Your Child To Eat Something They Don’t Like
Don’t reward your kid for eating a piece of broccoli with an M&M, for example. Doing this reinforces that eating a food they don’t like is a chore – and it just makes the “prize” food they get for doing so seem even more exciting.
Try, Try, Try Again
Toddlers may need to try a particular food up to 10 times or more before they accept it and eat it. So keep trying, and do your best to limit snacking and schedule meals properly so that your child will be hungry at mealtimes, and more likely to eat food they may not love.
Let Your Child Help Pick Out Produce And Food Items For Meals
You can involve toddlers and older kids in meal planning. Let them choose which vegetable or fruit to include with dinner, for example, or choose a side dish. You can even take them with you to the store to pick out food – this will give them a sense of ownership, and make it more likely that they will eat what you cook.
Pair The Unfamiliar With The Familiar
Your kid may not like broccoli, but they love cheese. So grate some cheddar on top of broccoli, bake it until it’s crispy, and serve it up. Integrating familiar and unfamiliar foods helps ease your child into the transition, and makes it more likely they’ll eat what you’re serving up.
Follow These Tips To Deal With Picky Eaters!
Not all picky eaters are the same, but at least one of these strategies should help you when you’re feeding your toddler or kid. Need more tips, or looking for a pediatrician to ensure your child is healthy in Nashville? Green Hills Pediatric Associates is here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (615) 385-1451 to get started.