Battles at mealtime with children who are fussy eaters can be incredibly stressful. So, let’s take a look at some handy tips to help you keep stress at bay when you’re coping with a child who is picky with their food.
Ensure What They Do Eat Is Full Of Goodness
It can be worrying when children who are fussy eaters seem to eat barely anything at all. Parents start to worry that their little ones aren’t getting the nutrition they need at such an important time of development.
To help boost their nutritional intake during this time, make sure anything they do consume is packed full of goodness. Milk with the goodness of A2 protein, for example, is a great choice because it’s what your child already drinks, but it’s packed with plenty of great nutritional extras.
The more nutrition you can fit into every mouthful they do eat, the better their health will be until you can work around this phase.
Live By Example
It’s something we hear again and again as parents – set a good example for your child. The same rings true for fussy eaters. The more they see their parents being fussy with food, the more likely they are to be fussy with their own food.
With this in mind, eat your food with gusto and be willing to try new foods in front of your child. With any luck, they will see this as something to emulate. It isn’t about forcing them to eat things they don’t like, but it is about building food flexibility and enthusiasm for trying new things.
We know, it’s a real challenge when your child is going through a fussy eating stage. Please be assured your perseverance will pay off, particularly with new foods that your child is trying. According to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), it can take your child ten tries of a new food before they like it. Keep introducing new foods in different forms, and hopefully, your child will take to some of them.
Don’t Punish Your Child For Their Food Fussiness
Try to avoid getting angry with your child for their fussiness as this will only build a negative atmosphere around meals. Instead, bump up the positivity around the dinner table. Be overly enthusiastic about what you’re eating, the texture, and the taste. Allow your child to touch and feel the food, and encourage them to actually play with it. It’s all about encouraging curiosity. The more calm and fun mealtimes are, the more encouraging that environment will be for your child to make progress.
Give Rewards That Aren’t Food-Based
If you reward your child with foods they do love, like sweets, they will view other foods as a punishment. This will then add to their fussiness because they will categorise foods as negative and positive. They may also force food down to get to the sweets, which won’t encourage them to actively try the new foods with a view to enjoying them on a more permanent basis.
Instead, reward their trying of new foods with activities, star charts, and other non-food treats they will appreciate. This will help them start to form great new habits around mealtimes.
Children who are fussy eaters can be a real challenge, but with the tips above, and plenty of creativity, you can push past this stage. Your child can build a positive relationship with food for the good of their nutrition and future eating habits. Soon enough, you’ll be enjoying mealtimes again as a family, trying new foods together, and boosting your overall household health.