What to do When Your Child is a Picky Eater
Let’s face it; most children are picky eaters. You’re not alone in this situation at all! Children have been picky with food probably since the beginning of time - which is why parents, doctors, psychologists, and nutritionists have spent years finding methods that work. As a parent, you want to make sure your child gets the right vitamins. Your child, though, may have other ideas when it comes to food. Here’s a guide for what to do when your child is a picky eater.
Start Introducing New Food Early & Be Patient
The best way to avoid having a picky eater is to start introducing new foods at a young age. Of course, some kids will still make a face and refuse to eat it, no matter how early you start or how much you negotiate. They are indeed sentient beings, and there’s no one solution to this problem. However, the logic is, if children get used to eating fruits and vegetables early on, they’ll continue to eat them as they grow up.
Introduce new foods alongside foods they already like. Encourage the child by talking about fresh food with them. Talk about the shape and color and where it comes from, rather than focusing on taste. You can even make an adventure out of it. Take your child on a shopping adventure and have them help you look for it in the supermarket. Involve them in the cooking process if possible. Creating an experience rather than just serving up veggies on a plate makes kids more likely to eat the foods they’re supposed to.
Identify Foods They Do Like
Your child is still developing their tastebuds. There’s a reason children love junk food like chicken nuggets and french fries, and it all has to do with the simplicity of taste. Find the food your child does like to eat, and think about what it tastes and looks like. There are plenty of recipes online that will help you hide vegetables in soups and nuggets. Don’t limit their food intake to foods they like though, provide a wide range of child-friendly foods. Serve tomatoes and cucumbers on the side, provide access to fresh fruit, and healthy juices.
Set a Meal Schedule
Children will eat when they’re hungry, and by implementing an absolute strictness with picky children, you may avoid some of the fights. Implement a breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert schedule for the entire family. Once they know there’s a meal coming every few hours they won’t reach for unhealthy snacks.
If the youngster refuses to eat the food in front of them, allow them to skip the meal and have them sit at the table with the rest of the family. This also means you won’t turn into a short-order cook for a picky tot. There’s a temptation to run and cook a meal that the child will eat, but it is vital to avoid that as a parent. Stay calm, and allow them to skip it. There will be another meal in a few hours. Children are more likely to eat what is in front of them if they are hungry.
Talk to Your Pediatrician
If you’re really concerned about your child’s diet, talk to an experienced pediatrician. To discuss your child’s picky eating habits, call Glen Allen Pediatrics at 804-282-4210. Our friendly pediatricians have more than 60 years of combined experience. The staff at Glen Allen Pediatrics is happy to take your call and answer any questions you may have.