PICKY EATERS – Proven Tips to Manage Them
By : Dr. Trishala Chopra
I am still a picky eater- I pick up only healthy foods to eat! When I just rewind my life, I could hardly remember how did I learn to pick up only healthy foods? Thanks to my mom for inculcating healthy eating habits in me.
From which foods to be cooked and which foods to be given to me, everything was planned by my mom!
This may also interest you: 6 Ways to Inculcate Healthy Eating Habits in Kids
So, all the moms reading this – Your decisions today are responsible for upbringing a healthy child tomorrow!
I know that managing a growing child is no less than a task and one of the most important tasks here is to make your child eat.
You try your best to make the healthiest food for your child and you try all possible ways to make them eat but it is not as easy as it looks like – Because your child is going to binge on only those things which you don’t want them to. The first food they pick up by themselves is usually going to be their favorite food for a long time after that.
Your job begins from the day you introduce solid foods to your babies.
Here is how you can manage your naughty picky eaters!
(1) Let them nibble over colorful trays
- Toddlers have a habit of staring at the food. They observe the food before they pick.
- Introduce a tray in front of them with colorful foods like different fruits and vegetables.
- Try giving it different shapes and sizes which can attract your toddler.
- For a 1 and half year old, you can give different names to the food items in the tray so that they choose the funniest food item on the tray! For example, eat the banana moons or grab some cucumber swords and get ready for a fight!
- Give your toddler some time alone with the food. Keep the tray easily accessible to them. Observe their behavior from a distance. When babies are alone they have a tendency to listen to their heart and pick the foods they like rather than you are sitting in front of them. This might make them conscious. Once you know which food they nibble, try making that food more often for them in different styles!
(2) Make some crazy dips!
- Toddlers love to make things messy when they eat.
- Dipping the ingredients from the nibble tray would be fun for them.
- Make some interesting dips which they can reach out to and which are healthy of course! This would give you an idea about their taste buds and likings! Keep different options in front of them.
- Here are the examples for some dips which can be completely safe for your child:-
? Home-made peanut butter
? Curd cheese dip
? Fruit yogurt
(3) Make some interesting smoothies!
- Some toddlers find eating boring which doesn’t mean you need to keep them hungry and try your best to make them eat. Instead, you can opt for some interesting smoothies.
- I have seen people making this mistake, mixing some packaged chocolate powders with milk and feeding it to their babies. This is not the way to develop a chocolate taste for your child. Packaged chocolate powders have lots of sugar in it which is unhealthy for your child. You can use unsweetened cocoa powder as a chocolate substitute.
- Add some fresh fruits to your babies’ smoothies and make them palatable for them!
You might also like: 10 Quick Breakfast Ideas for Your Fussy Preschooler
(4) Present your foods well!
- Your child is the best judge of your food! The best master chef judge you can say.
- Present your foods very well while giving it to your child.
- It should be appealing, interesting and yummy of course! Your child should grab it just because it looks so tempting!
(5) Your toddler has a very tiny tummy, remember that before making food for them.
- Your child cannot eat a lot at once. Don’t scare your child. Keep the serving size small and presentable. This will help your child to finish off the entire meal and make them feel happy about it!
(6) Food should be easily accessible to your child
- I have often seen that parents keep biscuits on the lower shelf in the kitchen and vegetables in the top corner of the fridge!
- When your child starts walking, they might need the refrigerator to eat something. Keep the nibble tray ready for them at the lower level of the fridge. This will inculcate a habit in them to binge on healthy foods for their lifetime!
(7) Don’t count on inconsistency
Parents usually come with a complaint that my child doesn’t eat.
It’s completely okay for your child to not eat.
- Whenever your child is hungry, they will reach out to food. Your job is to make the food accessible to them whenever they are hungry.
- Sometimes they will eat the same salad plate and sometimes they will not. It’s okay for them to be inconsistent. Don’t panic; continue working on the above points.
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