Picky Eaters: 5 Tips To Handle Them

Picky Eaters: 5 Tips To Handle Them

I know it can be frustrating when your child doesn't like the texture, taste, colour or shape of some foods. It is also normal for them to like something today and dislike it the next day, refuses a new food, or eat more or less on certain days. Picky eating is a part of children's development - it is a way for them to explore their environment and show their independence. It also happens due to your child's appetite going up and down depending on how much they grow and how active they are.

The good news is parents should not fret so much as the child grows, they will more likely be less picky and open to trying a whole range of different foods. But for now, consider these 5 tips on how to get your picky eater to eat.

1. Start small

When introducing a new food, start by asking your child to lick a piece of the food and work up to trying a whole bite. But if your child refuses the food after one try, do not force them. They might need repeated exposure to a new food before they take the first bite but give them credits anyway for making the small attempts. You may want to serve the new foods along with your child's favourites. So keep serving healthy options until they become familiar and favoured!

2. Make it fun

Serve broccoli and other veggies with your child's favourite sauce or dip. Cut foods into your child's favourite shapes using cookie cutters. You may also want to switch it up by offering breakfast foods for dinner. And since children are attracted to colours, serve a variety of bright-coloured foods.

3. Get your child to involve

When shopping for groceries, ask your child to pick the veggies, fruits, and other foods. When preparing for meals, encourage your child to rinse the veggies, mix the pancake batter, whisk the eggs for an omelette or set the table.

4. Set a good example

If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child will more likely to copy you. So give your child the same food as the rest of the family (minus the salt and sugar, of course!). And try to eat with them as often as you can.

5. Don't offer dessert as a reward

"Bribing" your child with desserts will send the wrong message - desserts are the best food, which may increase your child's desire for sweet foods. Instead, reward your child with a trip to the park or a playtime together. You may also redefine the choice of desserts to fruits, yogurt or other wholesome foods.

Check out healthy foods and snacks for your child here.