Most parents, at some point, will deal with picky-eating kids. It usually strikes around the toddler age, and may last from a brief stage to a few years. Meal times may become battlegrounds for this period of time, but there are ways around it. Here are a few helpful and proven tips in handling your picky eaters, and to get them on the road to eating well again.
Stick to Your Meal Schedule
Sticking to scheduled meal times is a health benefit on its own, and it also helps time your little one’s cravings. It also gets your child to know when to anticipate meal times, while reassuring them that they will not go hungry. If they don’t eat during the scheduled time, have them stay at the table until most of the family finishes their meal. Most of the time, they may have a bite or taste that may get them eating. If not, there’s always the next meal time.
Offer a Variety of Food
This is a rather straightforward but often overlooked suggestion. Don’t stick to your child’s favorite food and always have one or two viands on the side for yourself or for your child to try. Bread or pasta is often a picky child’s favorite, and is a recommended back-up dish when your child has no appetite. Keep offering or suggesting for your child to try other dishes, they usually give in eventually.
Don’t Bribe with Food
Don’t make favorite food or dessert an incentive for kids to finish their food. This may set a precedent for bad habits involving food, such as overeating or overindulging in unhealthy food. Don’t threaten or withholding food, especially dessert, from your child, it only makes the dish even more sought after. Food is not a reward, it is a necessity. Meal times are instances to establish that, especially in the early years.
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