Are meal times becoming a hassle and you’ve found yourself handling a picky eater obstacles? Despite your best efforts, it’s totally possible that your child turns out to be a picky eater. There are definitely ways you can ease things making dinners a bit happier.
3 Tips for Handling a Picky Eater
Despite your best efforts, it’s totally possible that your child turns out to be a picky eater. Even if he or she was previously a great eater who would gobble up anything and everything you put on the plate, that same plate may now find itself overflowing with the food your child refuses to eat. But don’t worry, even though this is likely just a phase, there are some things you can do to make handling a picky eater a little easier on yourself. To show you how, here are three tips for dealing with a picky eater.
Know Your Goal For Your Picky Eater
While the heat of battle over what your child should be eating at the dinner table may cloud your vision about your goals for feeding your kids, Nicci Micco, a contributor to Parenting.com, shares that the real, long-term goal is to raise your children to like a variety of foods overtime, not necessarily right at this moment. This means that even if your child tries just a taste of the food and then refuses to actually eat it, at least they’re making a little bit of progress. At this stage, it’s important not to increase any anxiety they feel about food simply to get them to eat what you’ve put in front of them at this very moment.
Limit Food and Drink Between Meals
If your child is having a hard time wanting to eat the food you’ve prepared for meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner, the eating habits you’ve instilled throughout the day might be more to blame than you may realize. Karen Cicero, a contributor to Parent.com, shares that many times if children snack or drink a lot in between meals, it’s harder for them to want to eat the food they’re given during actual meal times. Try limiting the food and drinks you give between meals to ensure that your child is actually hungry enough to eat when the food you’ve prepared is ready during a meal.
Give Them A Little Control
For many children, refusing to eat certain foods is more about having control than about the actual food. If this is the case with your child, there are things you can do that will help them feel a little more in control of the situation. Noelle Howey, a contributor to Real Simple, suggests trying things like allowing them to choose how much food they put on their plate or creating options for dinner menus during the week. Both of these things will help them feel like they have a little bit of a say regarding what foods they eat and how much of that food they will be eating. Handling a picky eater doesn’t mean you take all of their options away.
You can help ease your child through the phase of picky eating with a little creativity and patience. Use the tips mentioned above to make this trying time easier on everyone in your family and around your dinner table today. Life is about balance and we want our children to be able to find this balance with just a little guidance from us.
Have you dealt with a fussy kiddo at mealtime? What are your tips for handling a picky eater?
Jenna is a freelance writer from Renton, WA who is particularly interested in travel, nature, and parenting. Follow her on Twitter.