Solutions to Fussy Eating
Your dining room turns into battlefield when you offer or speak to your child about food. Furthermore, be it any kind of food, they will own the label you bestow on your child. For ex: My child is finicky and eats only noodles and chips will turn out to be a postive tone and they will reinforce the behaviour associated to these foods. On the contrary, using any of these labels, postives or negative notes can only do a bit to their eating habits: Sounds strange isn't it? Well, the key to your query is familiarity with foods. Your child may expect to be exposed to new set of foods more than 10 times before they try it. Here are other friendly tips on hand: 1. Provide variety – Try to include variety for your toddlers at either small or big meal time. This can make them explore to wide variety of foods which in turn can help you to ease the preparations in a long run. 2. Introduce new foods gradually - Children like to eat only familiar foods. So try new foods gradually after he/she is exposed to that new food many times. 3. Offer just one new food at a time - Give him a taste before putting a whole serving on his plate. And a bite that you take in front of your toddler can give him/her a comfort eating. 4. Give your attention during their mealtimes – Make sure that your focus is on them at every meal, if possible. Even if they refuse to eat, don’t get to respond. Switch off the TV and other gadgets as strategy to involve only in eating. 5. Have your littles ones assist you in kitchen- Involve your kids when you prepare new foods by engaging them in the job of stirring, poring, measuring etc. This can increase the chance that your child will taste their new creations. 6. Avoid expressions of disinterest – As mothers, avoid negative reactions while trying out a new food, even if you don’t like it. A study found that mothers who showed their facial expressions, body language or word that they didn’t want to try a new food had children who also tend to refuse new foods. (Carruth & Skinner, 2000). 7. Have quiet ambiences at mealtimes– While it comes to dining together, make sure the ambience is at peace. Switch off the television, mobiles and other gadgets. If possible speak to them about the importance of healthy eating. 8. Be creative with foods- whenever possible include colours and shapes in preparations. This can bring fun at meal times. 9. Don’t use foods as punishments or reward–Bribing or punishing will not help your child in healthy eating habits, in turn the child may start throwing tantrums for their own choices in future. Some children may be picky because they want to feed themselves: · Offer your child a spoon or a fork to hold while you are feeding them. This lets her feel in control. · Put some foods onto their bowl/plates and allow them to choose what they want. · Put new foods next to foods your child already likes. Your toddler may have sensitive palate related to appeal, texture, color, taste etc. This may also be a reason to dislike any new foods. Don’t get frustrated. Tolerance here is your biggest strength to battle the fussy eaters!
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