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Tips for Picky Eaters

By Senior Editor
Food Pyramid -

tips for picky eatersHelping your children to develop good eating habits can be difficult, and as a result many parents are searching for a few tips for picky eaters. There are a few small steps that can be followed to help a parent change their child’s eating habits, but remember that it takes bit of time and a lot of patience to get a child to make the changes as you are implementing these tips for picky eaters.

Show Your Child Respect

One of the best tips for picky eaters is to show your child that you respect them. The child is most likely being picky for one of these reasons: they are not hungry, they don’t like the food that is served, or they are pushing the limits to create a power struggle.

If your child is refusing to clean their plate or eat their dinner, kindly remind them that they have a choice to eat and that you are not going to force them to eat the food. When you are following these tips for picky eaters, it is also important to let the child know that this is their opportunity to eat and they will probably be hungry later if they make the choice to ignore their food.

Create Routines

When there is an eating routine in the household, the child will understand what the expectations are and they will be more likely to follow the expectations from one day to the next. Constantly changing expectations can confuse the child, and the lack of routine may ruin your efforts with the other tips for picky eaters.

Be sure that you are serving the meals at the same time each day, and also manage snack time on a schedule. Avoid serving snacks within two hours before meal time, which will help your child to have a hungry stomach when they come to dinner.

Be Patient and Understanding

Implementing these tips for picky eaters means that there will be some changes occurring in your household. Remember that children need time to adapt to change, and don’t try to force them too quickly. Forcing an issue often results in a power struggle, so it is more effective to be supportive and encouraging with the new habits that are being formed.

Also, don’t be too serious about meal times, because you may unintentionally create negative feelings that are associated with eating. Instead, use some tips with picky eaters to have fun with the food. Kids love to dip vegetables or finger foods in sauce, and they also enjoy other fun games such as foods that are shaped with cookie cutters.

Remember that the child will need to be introduced to new foods multiple times before they will like the food. Some doctors suggest that a child needs to taste a food 10-15 times in order to determine whether or not they like it! Continue to offer the new foods, and over time the child will most likely begin to eat the healthier options.

If you want to be successful with the changes, it is important that you don’t try to implement all of these tips for picky eaters at the same time. Instead of changing everything at once, try to use one change at a time. Slowly, over time you can implement the other tips for picky eaters until the children have shifted to the new way of eating.

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