It can be challenging and frustrating as parent when your kid is refusing to eat. While I don’t force my child to eat, I have learned some ways to work with my toddler. Below are some of my tips for parents of picky eaters!
Slowly introduce new foods in small portions
Do you know it can take 8 to 15 times for a child to accept a new food? A child is more than likely not going to like a food right away so be patient during the process. Also, a big helping of a new food isn’t going to speed up the acceptance process. Provide new foods in smaller portions alongside foods your child does like.
Serve new foods in a variety of ways
Get creative when introducing new foods to picky eaters! Put them in pastas, casseroles, dips. Puree them, fry them, grill them. Put them on pizza, in macaroni and cheese, or on a sandwich. Incorporate new foods into foods your child already enjoys eating. A child may not be open to eating a food one way but love it in an entirely different way.
Everyone eats the same meal
First off, if the whole family won’t eat it, don’t make your child eat it! If as a family you all can’t enjoy a food, how are you going to convince your child to enjoy it? If your child is on the fence about a food, seeing everyone else genuinely enjoying it may prompt them to at least try.
Keep the eating experience positive
No shaming, no bribing, no begging, no punishing, and no forcing! A child shouldn’t associate eating with negative feelings. We don’t want our child to be anxious or nervous when they sit down to eat. Our children shouldn’t feel guilt or shame when they choose not to eat. Even if they don’t eat new foods we can thank our child for trying them. We can applaud them for eating everything else on their plate. Focus on the positive and not the negative.
Respect our child’s food preferences and choices
Despite slow pace, variety of ways to try new foods, communal eating, and positive experience your child still may not like a food or want to eat. That is ok. Remember as much as they are your child, they are an individual person to. Their food preferences and choices deserve to be respected too. I am sure as an adult there are foods that you hate. I am sure as an adult there are times when you’re not up for eating. How would it feel if someone still forced you to eat or served you a food they know you didn’t like? If you only remember one of my tips for parents of picky eaters remember this one please.