The Fundamentals of Fussy Eating
When it comes to meal time, from time to time, children can be tough to feed. These types of little ones have come to be known as fussy eaters. Fussy eaters have tendencies to become grouchy, eat only specific foods that they are served or reject the food they’re given altogether. As a parent, it can feel really discouraging if your child acts up like this and refuses to eat the food you make them to nourish their growing little bodies. Don’t let the worry that your child isn’t getting enough nutrients from one meal worry you into exhaustion! There are ways to get around fussy eating habits! 🙂
Here are a few of the methods I used to tackle the fussy eating habits of my own children:
Eat Together As A Family (Be A Role Model)
By offering your fussy eater the same food as everyone else with no alternative they will be less resistant to eat it. You can act as a role model in this way for your children. If they see those around them eating the same foods as themselves they will be encouraged to eat the food they’re served. One family, one meal. It’s as simple as that.
Never Give In
One of the worst things a parent can do is give in to their child’s demands of not wanting to eat what you made them. Stick to your guns and tell them the food in front of them is what they get. Otherwise they may think they can put up a fuss and the cycle of giving in and coming up with alternative meals to tailor to them will continue. If they refuse, then don’t worry. If they get hungry later, then offer them the same meal or part of it as a snack.
Get Rid Of Distractions
It’s really easy for little children to get distracted if the T.V is on or if their favourite toys are lying around in the kitchen. These distractions take away from meal time and might cause your little one to refuse food to go play. Take these distractions away and they can focus more on the food they’re eating and enjoy a healthy relationship with their meal.
The time will come when your little one will get to an age where they might refuse to eat anything green or veggie like. We’ve all been there… A great way to make sure your child is getting the nutrients they need is to hide veggies in some of their favourite foods, they won’t be able to tell the difference!
Offer A Variety Of Options
Children love to have choices, it helps them feel in control of their meal time. Offer your little one a variety of options to choose from and separate them all. This way they have the freedom to decide what they eat while still getting the nourishment they need!
Sometimes the best way to get a child interested in the food they’re eating is to present it in a fun and exciting way. Don’t push yourself to your limits to do this. A fab way of doing this is to create amusing images out of the food on their plate or by including a lot of vibrant coloured foods in their meals.
Let Them Assemble Their Own Food
Children love to be independent. By allowing your child to put their own food together you let them feel in control of what they are eating and will be less resilient to the meal you serve them. Simply lay the ingredients in front of them and let them assemble the rest!
Involve Them In The Kitchen
Letting your children help with meal time allows them to gain a better understanding of the food they’re eating. It also helps them to cultivate a better relationship with food.
Change Up The Usual Scenery
Having meal time in the same place everyday may get boring for some children. Try taking your child to a park, your backyard or a different room in your home. The change of scenery may help encourage them to eat their food.
Lastly, and most importantly…remain calm! Dealing with a fussy eater can be daunting at times, you may get worried your baby isn’t getting enough nutrients. But trust me, if you try a few of these tips and tricks you’ll start to notice a change in your little one’s reaction to food.
Do you have any other tips or tricks you use that we didn’t list? Let me know in the comments below!