If you’re the parents of a fussy eater, you know just how frustrating it can be. No matter how hard you try, your child just isn’t interested in eating better. This can make every mealtime a nightmare that ends in tears and tantrums. It might get so bad that you start to get concerned for their health because they aren’t getting a varied diet. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this battle. Many parents face this eating dilemma, but thankfully it’s something that your child should grow out of. Until then, here are some useful tips and tricks to make mealtimes easier.
It can be easy for your child to lose focus on eating when there are countless distractions around them. TV’s, games consoles and tablets can take all the attention from the meal you have prepared and make your kids disinterested. So before you serve your family meals, remove anything you deem to be distracting. Ask your family to place all electronic devices in a box or basket away from the table during the meal. Get into the habit of doing this every mealtime to set a good example. In addition to this, you should aim to serve your meals at the same time each day to develop a routine. This will help your child prepare for their meal times and know when they should be eating.
Never use bribes
It can be tempting to use bribes when your kids are acting out and not doing what they are told. But this can result in a power struggle and cause further distress and frustration. The more you try to force and bribe your child to eat something, the less likely they will be to try it. Rewarding them with dessert or candy can also promote unhealthy eating habits. So when introducing new foods, be patient and act calmly. Don’t be disheartened or upset if they choose not to eat something. Your child may need more exposure to certain foods before they become more familiar and less alien like.
Make eating healthy seem cool
Kids can be strongly influenced by others and what they consider to be cool. If they feel like all of their friends are eating certain foods, they won’t want to feel left out. So find a way to make eating healthy seem cool. You can show them recipes on social media such as this Facebook page for Hampton Creek. Youtube tutorial videos could be another option. You can also tell them that their favourite celebrity or that their best friend eats the food they don’t like. This can convince them that the food they don’t want to try is worth trying after all.
If you continue to be concerned by your child’s fussy eating or lack of appetite, talk to them about it. There could be a reason why they don’t like certain foods, or they might be afraid of new tastes and flavours. In addition to this, you should make an appointment with your doctor for further help and advice.