About one-third of the parents feel that their child is a picky eater. And while this is not a very desirable trait, it is fixable; nothing to get worked up about! Here are some parent-approved ideas to get your children to eat a healthy well-balanced meal.
Set a good example: Every single parenting advice begins with this!! You can’t be having a slice of pizza while waiting for your little one to finish that broccoli on his plate. You’ve got to eat what you want your kid to eat.
Let your child feel that he is the one choosing his food options: When you’re at a grocery store do not ask your child what he wants, he might just choose chips. Instead, take him to the fruits section and let him choose his favorite ones. Rather than asking what he wants for dinner, and getting pizza for an answer, let him choose between a spinach soup and a lentil soup.
Introduce a variety of foods from an early age: As the kids grow older, it gets more difficult to introduce them to new flavors. As and when you see an opportunity, start giving them all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Make the food more appealing: If you want to feed veggies to the kids, cut them into fancy shapes and arrange it nicely onto their plate. Let them fall in love with their meal even before they take the first bite.
Do not force-feed your children: We are so used to seeing our portion sizes that we often forget that they have smaller tummies and do not need as much. If you’re unsure about the amount of food your child should be eating, check with your pediatrician.
Introduce new foods gradually: Do not overwhelm your kids by cooking an entirely new menu for their meal. Add small portions of new foods with the foods they have already developed a taste for. They might not even accept something new right away. That’s okay. Let them take some time, they will eventually give in.
Involve your kids in the meal preparation: Ask them to help with the little tasks like stirring the stew, setting the dinner table or washing fruits. When they are a part of the pre-meal process, they are more likely to enjoy the meal.
No short-order cooking: There needs to be just one meal cooked for the entire family. If you start cooking what they demand, they’re simply going to get spoilt.
Have your meals the family way: This means no distraction, not for the child not for you. You can use this time to model good eating habits and create long-lasting bonds. Moreover, when you’re paying attention to your child’s eating pattern, you will realize what is working out and what isn’t.
Do not bribe them with desserts: As tempting as it seems, bribing backfires in the longer run. When you give them dessert as a treat, it automatically gets registered in their brain that dessert is the only good thing and the rest of the meal is a boring chore which simply needs to be completed.
Lastly, keep patience: Your child is not going to start eating everything overnight. Some kids might take longer than the others. Take baby steps and let them adapt to a healthier lifestyle at their own pace.