Food plays an important role in determining your health, and children’s health is no exception to this. But before focusing on the importance of food for health let’s begin with a fair question. Do you eat every food that is nutritionally important for you? Are you able to put your likes and dislikes aside when it comes to health?
Not. You tend to be choosy. We tend to be choosy. Similar is the case with children.
The only difference that exists is that children are relatively pickier than us and that’s the reason we end up labelling them picky eaters. If your children are picky eaters, I already have an idea about what it’s like.
I have dealt with picky eaters most of my life. I have rushed after children just to make them eat when I had this part-time job as a babysitter. Not only this, my cousin who was an extreme kind of picky-eater was even taken to Usman Memorial Hospital for treatment purposes.
How to deal with picky eaters?
It can be challenging and even troubling at times. Then how to deal with it? Well, many ways can help you to deal with picky eaters. Here are these;
1- Change your menu
Every time you see a new dish on your food menu you are more likely to give it a try and this exact thing happens in the case of children. When you are repeatedly putting the same food items on their plate how will they eat this? To tackle this problem, you are advised to add a new food variety. These differently coloured foods with altered tastes will surely make your children eat them.
2- Focus on the food presentation
The taste of food is as important as its presentation, and in the case of children, it can be even more important. No matter how good food tastes, the first thing is its presentation. You eat with your mouth after you eat it with your eyes. Making your food look good can help your children eat it and your problem of picky eater can get solved by this.
3- Help them focus on the food
Any type of distraction during mealtime can eventually lead them to forget about it. When they are not focused on food how can you even expect them to eat it? Thus, you are supposed to limit mealtime distractions, so you can involve your children. Keep devices and games aside and make a meal a full-time activity.
4- Try small portions
Children have their calorie requirements that need to get filled by the end of the day. No matter how badly you want it, just make sure that you aren’t overloading their plate. Don’t try to fit all the calories in one plate just distribute it in the smaller parts, said a renowned paediatrician during a webinar on children’s health. Yes, with smaller meals you need to focus on the meal frequency. While you are preparing food, give them a part of it to your children to taste before the actual meal.
5- Work on making eating a fun activity
You can also deal with picky eaters by making food a fun activity. Don’t get offended when your children try to touch and taste a food item. Give them time and create a pressure-free time while you are trying to help them eat.
6- Involve them in the food making process
Another thing that can help you to deal with picky eaters is their involvement in the food-making process. Handover a little thing you are preparing. Share the details with them about what you are doing. Ask them to wash the vegetable when you are going to cut them. This involvement will make them eat what they prepared with you.
Children health is an important problem and more of an issue for parents. While many things can improve your children’s health, focusing on their dietary habits can be a good thing to try. All these practices can surely help your children better. However if nothing seems to work here, then you should see a paediatrician and get professional help.