Trying to feed kids can be very frustrating. Cooking is hard work and you also want to make sure they get the foods they need and learn good eating habits. Here are eight tips to help you feed the picky eater:
- Use smaller portions so neither you nor your toddler feel that the goal is impossible. The correct serving for a toddler is roughly ¼ or less of what you would eat.
- Remember that some kids just have more sensitive palates than others. Additionally, this sensitivity can also be toward color and texture of the food. Think of foods you hated as a child and how the entire experience was distasteful. Some kids just are more choosey about their foods due to this sensitivity and it is not an indication that they are spoiled or have some character flaw that you can “cure.”
- Look for ways to make sure your child gets nutritional value from the meals he does eat by sneaking in protein or fruit into things that he eats without any problems.
- Try to minimize distractions at the table. Toys, cartoons, other playing children nearby all can work to distract a child who might otherwise eat.
- Take time at the dinner table to make sure your child eats without a fight. Moms will often rush to find other eating solutions, including feeding a child dessert to make sure he gets something in his stomach. Dads quite often are willing to engage in the battle of the wills to see who will break first. If dad is positive and encouraging, he’ll often find an eater at some point.
- Don’t use sugary foods to get your child to eat more. You’re just setting him up for rejecting a broader range of foods.
- Try to offer new foods when you know your child is hungry. If your child had a snack an hour before dinner and you choose that meal to introduce lima beans, you’re heading for a failure.
- Serve a broad range of food at very meal and don’t make a big deal out of a new food. Kids take a lot of cues from you and will be wary if they see you acting suspiciously.