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How to deal with picky eaters

Help the picky eater have a balanced diet and get rid of the struggle. Sometimes they quit carrots, sometimes children quit spinach. So, read on and see how to deal with children’s nutrition. Is your preschooler wants chicken nuggets in every meal or rather he plays and doesn’t eat at all. Given are the tips on how to handle picky eaters at once and for all.

Respect your child’s appetite or lack of one

If your child isn’t hungry, don’t force a meal. Don’t bribe the child to eat certain foods and clean his plate. This will offset a power struggle over mealtimes and he will forget his hunger meanwhile. Serve small portions and let your child independently ask for more. Your child might come to associate mealtime with anxiety and frustration. The cure is to have a balanced diet by respecting first what he eats or not.

Stick to the routine

Allowing your child to fill up on juice, milk or snacks throughout can reduce his/her appetite for meals. Offer food at the same time every day, to bind him to a regular schedule. You can provide juice, milk or water between the meals.

Be patient with new foods

Young children put new foods and smell them and put back in mouth again and again. Give them exposure to the new foods until they become preferred. Encourage your child by talking about a food’s colour, aroma, texture and shape.

Don’t be a short order cook

Don’t prepare a separate meal as it promotes picky eating. And he has to be on the dining table well on time whether he eats or not.

Have fun

Serve the food with dips and sauces. Also, serve breakfast foods at the dinner table. Serve a variety of brightly coloured foods. Cut the food into various shapes.

Recruit your child’s help

At the grocery store, let the baby select fruits and veggies he wants to eat.

At home, encourage your child to help you rinse veggies, or set the table.

Be creative

Top cereal with fruit slices, or mix grated zucchini and carrots into casseroles and soups. Be creative with the foods you offer as it will get them a nutritious diet in the end.

Set a good example

If you are eating healthy foods, he is going to role-model you and may likely to follow suit. So, set a good example by having a balanced diet.

Minimize distractions

Turn off the tv and other electronic gadgets while the child eat. Let him focus into that. Also, advertising on tv can induce your child to want sugary or less nutritious foods.

Don’t offer dessert as a reward

Don’t offer dessert as a reward. As it will increase his cravings for sweets. Redefine dessert as fruit, yogurt and other healthy choices. Keep one or two dessert nights and skip for the other times. If you’re worried that picky eating is compromising your child’s growth and development, consult your child’s doctor. He or she can plot your child’s growth chart. 

Avoid having not-to-eat-list

They have their own not-to-eat-list of fruits and vegetables, which isn’t good for health. Let them eat green vegetables, salads, fruit, skinless poultry and fish, beans, legumes, and nuts, low-fat dairy or whole grains. 

Plan meals to include at least one thing that everyone adores

For example, it can be baked beans, which is nutritious enough to give all vitamins and minerals.

 Remember It Takes 11 Tries to Accept Something

For example, broccoli is a new food that makes your child cautious and conscious. So let him try, play and learn with the food. As it takes 11 tries with the food to accept something.

No Clean Plate Club

Help kids focus on eating until they are full than finishing that they have everything on their plates. Adults forget that small children have small bellies. The best rule to remember is 1 tablespoon of food per age of the child for every dish. So a 3-year-old child should receive 3 tablespoons each of peas, noodles and chicken; that is enough for a balanced diet.

In the end, it is for the small steps that count. And these small steps can promote a lifetime of healthy eating as eating habits of your child won’t change overnight.

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