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What to Do About Children Who Are Picky Eaters

By Edited Jul 4, 2015 0 2

All children are different in their eating habits and just because your child is a picky eater at the age of one does not mean things are going to change later down the line. Sometimes one just worries too much. It's funny, either children are too thin or too fat or not eating the right food.

Why is your child not enjoying the things that he or she is supposed to? The worst thing you can do is to let your emotions get the better of you. So just be practical about it.

Adding variety

Don't add a whole new plate of goodies in front of the child's eyes because that is just not going to go down well and it will just cause further frustration. If he has been eating a sausage or egg then add something new like mashed potato.

You could decorate this around the plate so that it will entice them. Make hair strands and put a couple of peas inside.  Make a face out of it, using the sausage as the mouth. You have to be creative at times like these. If they push the peas and carrots aside that's ok, don't stress! Tomorrow is a new day and there is something else to try.

picky eater

Be consistent

It is a really good idea to be creative during meal times, but don't think about going too crazy when you are planning the different meals. Don't decide to have breakfast at a different times. Always have your set meals and the same amount of meals.

You should ultimately be having three meals a day with a couple of snacks in between.  This doesn't mean that you can't go for a picnic or you can't go out for lunch. Don't let this overtake your life. Your child is not going to starve.

Avoid stress

Children picky eaters can create a lot of stress for the family, but it really does not have to be this way. If you take a trip to some of the third world countries you will start to see some really thin kids around and then you may start to change your mind about picky eaters because kids will eat when they are hungry.

When talking of stress it is also important to talk about discipline. Often you will really get annoyed with picky toddler eaters and this will force you to bribe them by saying them must finish something and then they will be rewarded with something else.

This leads into a pattern which you probably won't be able to break easily. Kids should be reminded of table manners and the importance of staying at the table until everyone has finished. All of this is important. Lastly, don't focus on the food so much. Try to get some conversation going for a bit of a break and this will be easier for both you and child and in most cases the whole family.

Find the right setting

Of course the natural tendency is to head towards the kitchen table, but this is not always going to work because kids who have problems eating and are fussy eaters become negative about sitting around the table. You may want to think about going on a picnic or taking a couple of snacks to your child's bedroom.

If you have a beach nearby you could pack a lunch and head off there for a fun day. Your child will forget about the fact that he or she has to come for the dreaded meal because they are having so much fun that they will really just enjoy it.

How to feed picky eaters

The challenge may get that much more difficult because you also have to stick to healthy food. This is something that you can't forget about. It doesn't mean that you child has to chew on lettuce leaves all day, but it does mean that you have to walk past the chicken nuggets which are so enticing and so easy and which may look like kids will easily take to, but starting them out on the right foot is just as important. Stick to small portions so the child is not overwhelmed.

healthy food
  • Green vegetables
  • Protein
  • Complex carbohydrates
  • High fructose

Of course, every now and again a good old fashioned treat is good, but try and stay away from your local fast food chain. You can even make yummy granola bars and flavored smoothies to die for. Blueberries pancakes are also a nice treat.

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Comments

Jun 9, 2013 11:56am
Nikon
Good ideas. As you stated, children will eat when they are hungry.
Jun 9, 2013 3:05pm
liswilliams
Thanks Nikon - I come from South Africa where a lot of kids just have to eat whatever there is on the plate - that or nothing.
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