Have your preschooler’s constant consumption of chicken nuggets has you fed up. Perhaps your kid would rather play than eat? You’re not the only one who worries about your children’s nutrition. Concerns about what their children consume and don’t eat are commonplace among parents.
However, most youngsters eat a wide variety of healthy foods throughout the course of a seven-day period. Until your child’s taste in food develops, these tips for feeding fuzzy eaters might help you avoid mealtime arguments.
Respect your child’s hunger — or lack thereof
Don’t impose a snack or meal on a youngster who isn’t hungry. The same goes for making your youngster clear his or her plate or eat specific meals through bribery or coercion. This might be the spark that starts a power struggle over food, or it could be the fuel that strengthens it.
As a result, he or she may become less aware of the signs of hunger and fullness that are sent to him or her by the body as a result of this experience. Serve tiny servings to keep your child from feeling stuffed and to encourage him or her to ask for more on his or her own.
Stick to a schedule
Every day, provide meals and snacks at around the same time. As a parent, you may provide your kid with an opportunity to consume nutritious meals by scheduling a regular snack time. Between meals and snacks, serve water instead of milk or 100% juice. Snacking on juice, milk, or other snacks throughout the day may diminish your child’s hunger for meals.
When trying new dishes, be patient
A common occurrence for young toddlers is to touch or smell novel foods, and occasionally even put little pieces in their mouths and then take them back out again. In order to try a new dish for the first time, your child may need to be introduced to it numerous times.
Instead of focusing on whether or not a dish is tasty, use descriptive language to get your youngster excited about trying new things. Serve your youngster a variety of foods, including some unfamiliar ones. Serve nutritious options to your child until they develop accustomed to and even prefer them.
Don’t be a short-order cook
When your child refuses to eat the initial meal, don’t make a second meal for him or her. Stay at the table even if your youngster doesn’t eat at the allotted time.
Make it enjoyable
A favorite dip or sauce can be used to accompany broccoli and other vegetables. Cookie cutters may be used to cut food into a variety of shapes. If you want to serve breakfast for supper, you can do so. Keep things interesting by serving different colored dishes.
Enlist the aid of your youngster
Ask your youngster to assist you in the selection of vegetables, fruits, and other nutritious items at the grocery store. Make sure you don’t buy anything that you wouldn’t serve to your child. Encourage your youngster to assist you in the kitchen by rinsing vegetables, stirring batter, or even setting the table.
Lead by example
The more diversity in your diet, the more likely your youngster is to follow suit.
Think beyond the box.
Chopped green pepper or broccolis in spaghetti sauce, fruit pieces over cereal or shredded carrots and squash in dishes are all great ways to include more vegetables into your diet.
During mealtimes, turn off the TV and any other electrical devices. Your youngster will be more motivated to eat if you do this. Be aware of the influence of television advertising on your child’s desire to eat sugary or otherwise unhealthy meals.
Don’t give dessert as a reward
Without dessert, you’re sending a message that sweets are the finest food, which might lead to an increased demand for them. In certain cases, you can have dessert just once or twice a week, or define dessert as fruit, yogurt, and other healthy options.
If you’re concerned that your child’s finicky eating is hurting their growth and development, see your child’s doctor. To indicate how much your child has grown, he or she might create a growth chart for you to look back on. Also keep track of everything your child eats over the course of three days to see if anything is amiss.
Look at the larger picture and see what you can learn from it. It’s also a good idea to keep a meal journal for your child’s pediatrician. In order to help your child develop good eating habits for the rest of his or her life, it’s important to take little steps every day.