Tips for fussy eaters

Tips for fussy eaters

Your child requires a balanced diet to be healthy; this might be a difficult task if your child is a choosy or fussy eater. Here are tips to guide you to make your child eat those veggies.

Disguise food
Does your child want to eat everything from white bread, white pasta or chicken nuggets – everything other than vegetables? The sight of them may just put off your child – and some vegetables can have a strong smell and taste.

Hide vegetables in sauces such as tomato sauce for pasta or rice. Chop the vegetables up quite small and add to the sauce.

Keep trying
Keep trying – repetition is key. Some days they may want it; some days they may refuse to eat it or throw it on the floor. Do not give up. Most children will eventually try new food. Keep portion sizes small and offer it next to something they love.

Let your child pick
Many children warm to vegetables if they pick them themselves. Take your child shopping with you so he or she can pick out the fruit and vegetables they like the look of.

Set a good example
If you do not eat a healthy diet and turn your nose up at food, then your child is likely to mimic your behavior and do the same.

Set a good example by eating a large range of healthy foods and eating at meal times as a family. Do not expect them to eat lettuce if you will not touch it!

Don’t offer junk foods
You may be worried about your child refusing to eat and perhaps think that giving your child some French fries is better than nothing is at all.

Think again – this can encourage your child to only eat junk food and teach them that this is an acceptable diet. If your child refuses one of your preferences – offer another healthy choice.

Let your child help prepare their food
Let your child help you to prepare meal times and make them fun. They are more likely to eat the food in which they have helped with. Therefore, it could be washing lettuce and vegetables or rolling dough. They are more likely to try the foods in which they have
helped to prepare.

Making meals fun
Try to make meal times a period in which your child enjoys. Try to give food silly names or try turning mealtimes into a game. Try a game such as encouraging children to ‘eat their colors’. This game works well with younger children. Food that is bland in color usually lacks nutrients. Cut sandwiches, pancakes, pizza into various shapes using cookie cutters. Keep the mood of mealtimes a happy one.

Peer pressure
If your child is going through the fussy eater stage, encourage them by inviting a friend who is the same age or a bit older and who you know enjoys their food and is a good eater. Your child will catch on – and group feeding sets an example to fussy eaters.

Sweet tooth
Is your child getting more and more addicted to sugar and refusing to eat anything healthy at all? For breakfast, they are only interested in sugarcoated cereal and at dinner, they just want to skip straight to dessert.Do not panic there are solutions. Offer snacks that are naturally sweet – such as low fat yoghurt, pineapple, frozen bananas or grapes.

Do not keep sweets in the house – so there will be less temptation for you and your child.
Do not use sweets as a bribe. Include them as part of a balanced diet.

Schedule snack time
Most children thrive off routine, so set a snack time and stick to it. If your child knows they only get food at certain times, then they are more likely to eat what you give it to them.