Tips to Help Your Child Overcome Picky Eating
Preschoolers can be notoriously unpredictable when it comes to food or anything remotely resembling food! Eating solid food is a new experience for the toddler and he or she may need time to get used to the various textures, colours and flavours of the new food. Children are picky eaters mainly because they prefer sweet over bitter tastes or they are afraid to try new foods.
Among other reasons, kids could also dislike certain foods because of their particular taste, texture or smell. They may hate creamy textures or a mix of textures, like something that is both crunchy and creamy. Some kids are also overwhelmed by too many flavours blended together and some can even distinguish between the various herbs and spices in a dish.
If you are unsure about what the right foods for your child, visit your nearest Apollo Cradle where our team of experts will guide you about the right foods, nutrition information and right choices.
Dr. Aarthi Bharat, MBBS, MD, Apollo Cradle, Jayanagar gives you tips on how to deal with a picky eater
- If your child isn't hungry, don't force a meal or snack.
- Don't bribe or force your child to eat certain foods. This might ignite or reinforce a power struggle over food. In addition, your child might come to associate mealtime with anxiety and frustration.
- Serve small portions to avoid overwhelming your child and give him the opportunity to independently ask for more.
- Try to introduce new foods when your child is hungry.
- Understand that children have different choices when it comes to food. Some simply won't like the texture, colour or taste of certain foods. Some foods might have some other negative association for them.
- Serve meals and snacks at about the same time every day. Provide juice or milk with the food and offer water between meals and snacks. Allowing your child to fill up on juice or milk throughout the day might decrease his or her appetite for meals.
- Serve veggies with your child's favourite dip or sauce.
- Offer breakfast foods for dinner.
- Serve a variety of brightly coloured foods.
- While grocery shopping, let your child select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods.
- Don't buy anything that you don't want your child to eat.
- At home, encourage your child to help rinse veggies, stir batter or set the table.
- Don't prepare separate meals just for your kids.
- Do not reward your child with a sweet or dessert. This might divert the child's attention, resulting in them avoiding main course.
- Offer a variety of healthy foods as snacks or packed lunch.
- Most importantly, avoid distractions while eating. Turn off the television and other gadgets while eating.