Posted on: 5 April 2016
If you have a fussy toddler or picky child, mealtime can become a war zone and a regular point of contention. The time to do something is now, as the longer you allow your child to decline eating meals with the rest of the family, the more difficult this habit will be to break. There are a few things that you can do to increase your child's willingness to eat what you prepare and to try a few more things at mealtime.
Four strategies to get picky kids to eat include:
Try the ice cube tray trick.
The ice cube tray trick works best with young toddlers, especially those that like very few finger foods. Try filling each compartment of the tray with a few grapes, veggies, cheese cubes, raisins, or other healthful snacks. Giving the child a selection of foods in their own little section may encourage them to empty out the cubes and eat a little more at mealtime.
Foster a helpful child in the kitchen.
When kids help to prepare a meal, they are often more inclined to eat it. Try to engage your child in some part of the food preparation so that they will feel vested in the meal, and may be proud to taste what they create.
Give up power struggles.
You will never win a power struggle with a fussy toddler or hungry child, so save your breath. Don't engage in a battle over eating; when your child sees that you don't respond or react, they may relent and eat. Keep in mind- they are probably acting out because they are hungry.
Kids will eat when they are hungry.
It is important to know that kids will eat when they are hungry. They are not going to starve to death because they didn't like the dinner that you prepared. The error most parents make is letting their child choose what they do want to eat, which can send the message that they are in control and they can eat whatever they like. Be firm, and don't provide a lot of options.
Parents spend a lot of time worrying and stressing over how to make their kids eat. Children will eat when they get hungry, and it is important to not provide too many choices to them, but rather offer the meal that you prepared or healthful snacks without alternative options. Kids should be exposed to how food is prepared and cooked so that they will foster an appreciation for the food that you put on the dinner table! Contact a child care center for more information.Share