6 simple steps you can take today to banish picky eating (forever)
Daily battles with picky eaters are exhausting and sometimes the grown-ups in the house are just as fussy as the kids.
Nobody wants to be the "eat your greens" super villain everyday, and frankly after spending an hour cooking a delicious n' nutritious I-tried-my-best kind of dinner it’s heartbreaking when your family moan about it. A varied diet is vital for growing kids and although getting vegetables into them can be hard it is important to keep persevering. If parents are picky eaters it does not set a good example for children so it is important that the whole family is devoted to becoming less fussy and more adventurous with food. Here’s our advice when it comes to banishing picky eaters from your table.
1. Involve your child when you are shopping and cooking
Involve your children when you are food shopping, particularly in the fruit and vegetables aisle and also in other problem areas such as the fish or dairy sections. Encourage them to choose a new fruit or vegetable that they have never tried before. Allow your child to order meat or fish from the butcher or fishmonger at the supermarket. When you’re at home invite your child to wash your vegetables and help you cook. It sounds like an unnecessary addition stress but children are much more inclined to eat food that they feel they have made themselves and widening your child’s knowledge of food will help them become less picky.
2. Keep calm at the table
Shouting or forcing your child to eat will just make the situation worse and it is very important to keep calm. If your child refuses to eat something, express how much of a pity it is that they won’t try it because you (or their daddy) love it. Be patient with a picky eater and praise them when they try new things.
3. Develop a reward system
Tell your child that you would like to see them eat at least one bite of everything on their plate at dinnertimes. If they stick to this rule reward them on a Saturday or Sunday with a little treat. If your child has broken the one bite rule at anytime during the week stick to your word and don’t reward them at the weekend. This will prove that you mean what you say and empty threats won’t achieve anything.
4. Banish the rubbish
Remove all of the junk food from your cupboards and fridge to stop your children snacking throughout the day. Provide some fresh fruit and vegetables for an afternoon snack but instead of milk or juice give your children water between meals. Milk and juice fill children up and may cause them to lose their appetite before dinner.
5. Present food creatively
Toddlers are always impressed with smiley face presentations and brown bread sandwiches in the shape of a tractor or a love heart. We’re not so sure about your other half though.
6. Plant a garden with your children
Planting some vegetables at the end of your garden is a great way to get children more interested in food. A few hens are also a great way for children to build an interest and kids will love cooking and baking with the eggs. I will attach a caveat to that (from personal experience) they poo A LOT. Don't say I didn't warn y'all.
Do you have any top tips for dealing with picky eaters mamas? Let us know in the Facebook comments or join the conversation on Twitter @HerFamilydotie