Some children are pickier eaters than others. If your child is a picky eater, there are a few things that you can try to be sure that they are getting the nutrition that they need, and possibly get over their picky eating habits. If you start at preschool age or earlier, you have a much better chance of setting new habits for their lives.
Incorporate Healthy Foods to Food Your Child Likes
It is difficult to get a picky eater to eat healthy foods. If they like pancakes, add blueberries to them. If they like muffins, make them a carrot muffin. If they like potatoes and rice, shred their vegetables and mix them in. This way, they will be able to get some of the nutrients that they need.
Offer Healthy Finger Foods
Children love to eat with their hands. If you offer them healthy finger foods, they may be more likely to want to eat them than if they had to use a fork.
Set a Strict Snack Time
Picky eaters will often ask to snack all day because they didn’t eat the food that they were offered. It is important to limit snacks to snack time and stick to your guns. If your child thinks that they can snack whenever they want, there is no incentive to try things they don’t like.
Let Your Child Help Prepare Meals
If you allow your child to help you prepare your meals, there is a better chance that they will want to eat it. They will be so proud of the fact that they played a large part in preparing the meal, they will want to try what they cooked.
Use Dessert as a Reward
Most parents offer their children dessert after dinner. If your child does not finish what is on their plate, you should not allow them to have dessert. If you do, it will only reward your child for an accomplishment that they did not achieve. Also, they will eat less of their meal because they know that they can fill up on dessert. Unless your child eats all of their dinner, dessert should not be an option.
Be a Role Model
It is a bad idea for your child to see you pushing food away because you don’t like it. Eat your food and let your children learn by example.
The Montessori Children’s Center is an excellent elementary school that offers a variety of nutritious foods. For more information and to take a tour, please call us.