Do you have a child that will not eat anything of a particular color. Does your child live on cheese and peanut butter alone? Picky eaters can quickly worry a parent into the ground. You know your little one needs to eat a healthy, balanced diet, but you also dread fighting with him at every meal while trying to get him to take just one bite of something healthy. Here are some tips for getting your little one to start eating right:
Your Kitchen is Not a Restaurant
One of the largest contributing factors to picky eating is overindulgent parents. Your home does not have a menu from which people can order. Prepare dinner and inform your child that this is what is available to eat. The choices are to eat it or not. While it is okay to try to include at least one thing your child will eat, do not allow them to eat from anywhere then the meal you prepared. Parents hate the idea of a child skipping a meal, but to be honest there is no danger of your child withering away from missing a meal or two. When he gets hungry, he will eat.
Throw on the Flavor
Children have sensitive palates and will notice quickly when something tastes good. Don’t be afraid to offer seasoned, flavorful dishes. A little garlic can make anything taste great (and it’s good for you). Also consider offering no typical kid foods like marinated olives and gourmet cheeses. Avoid extremely spicy foods or those with a pungent odor. Overall, strive to cook the same types of meals for your family that you would serve friends.
Push the Veggies
Kids sense that parents really, really want them to eat vegetables. That opportunity for a power struggle, combined with the fact that many parents simply boil and salt the veggies as a side dish, makes this one of the biggest hurdles in trying to get a child to eat. Instead of serving bland, plain vegetables, try incorporating them into flavorful main dishes. Eggplant Parmesan, vegetable lasagna, and shepherd’s pie are all great choices. Another great trick is to sit the kids down with vegetables first, while they are hungry. Often, they will eat at least a few bites while waiting for the main course to be ready.
Require a Test Drive
Many kids dismiss a food that they would like simply because it looks different. Make a rule that your child has to try one bite of everything. If it doesn’t make him gag, make him have a second bite. This is enough to get most kids to at least give new foods a try. Even if he appears to truly hate a food, praise him for trying it.
Bribery is Not a Dirty Word
All is fair in the eating game. Use bribery to get your picky child to eat. Make a rule that there is no dessert until he eats his dinner. Remember however, that he has a small stomach so his portions should be very small. Do not allow seconds of a favorite food until he has eaten the other foods on his plate. Finally, if there are siblings involved, play on the natural selfishness by offering to give his food to his sister or brother. He will likely gobble it up before he lets that happen.
Sunny A. is a writer for http://www.mybusinesscareers.com/. Take a look at this site if you want to learn more about a degree in business.