We don’t think it is any secret that kids can be very picky eaters!
Whether they just won’t eat their vegetables or they only have 3-4 foods that they will tolerate, most kids have some level of pickiness to their diet.
This can be very frustrating and can make mealtimes extremely stressful – which might just make the problem worse! Working with kids all day, every day, we have seen every level of pickiness you can think of. Here are our tips to make mealtime less stressful and help with picky eaters.
We know… this is really easy to say without having to deal with a crying kiddo at the kitchen table, but patience is the best thing that you can do for this situation. The more stressed out you are, the more stressed your child will be and the less they will want to eat. It can be hard in the moment, but just being patient with your child, expanding meal times over a longer period of time, and not forcing the situation, will help increase your chances!
This also applies to introducing new foods. It can sometimes take dozens of tries to introduce new food into your child’s diet. Even if they deny it over and over again, keep at it! You might be surprised that one day, and it might even become your child’s favorite!
It might be time to introduce silverware
Kids like to be challenged mentally. It is a big step for kids to learn to eat with their own 2 hands, but eventually, that gets boring! At a certain point, kids want to use the tools that they see their parents using at almost every meal – forks, spoons, and knives!
Using these tools could have a major impact on how well your child eats. It will be fun for them to experiment with the tools and try their best to scoop things into their own mouths. Will it be a little extra messy at the beginning? Yes! But that is all a part of the fun, isn’t it?
Always have a “champion” food on the plate
One way to get your child to try new foods is to introduce them slowly. If you put an entire plate of food that your child has never seen before or doesn’t like in front of them, they are likely to instantly shut down and not want to eat anything.
Experts suggest always having food on your child’s plate that you know they like. If they want more of it, great! Give them as much of what they want of that one food. However, make sure there are other options on their plate. This gives your child the control to try something new if they want to and make mealtimes much more pleasing for them. They may not take the bait on the first pass, but eventually, they might take.
We want you to know something…. This too shall pass! It is easy to get yourself down about your child’s eating habits. You may feel that you are failing your child in some way because they aren’t eating or getting the nutrition that you think they need, but know that this just simply isn’t the case!
Every child goes through ups and downs with their eating habits and it is all just them trying to figure out their world and control certain things in their lives. Trust us, you are doing a great job and hopefully, these tips will help you see it too!
And for a bonus, we wrote an article to help with packing a healthy lunch to daycare!