Having a picky eater can be extremely frustrating. Both of my kids have gone through this and it is still something we struggle with. Kids can easily find a type of food they love (like french fries) and never want to eat anything else ever again! But, this means they don’t just miss out on a balanced diet full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, it also means they miss out on a whole wide world of incredible food. So, if your child is showing signs of being a fussy eater, here are some ways I have discovered to help fix that. Keep reading for some of my tips for helping a picky eater.
Don’t Force Their Appetite
As much as kids can feel like walking garbage cans who will eat anything you put in front of them, some can also go through appetite slumps when they don’t want to eat anything at all. When this happens, it’s important not to force their appetite. This could actually have the opposite effect. Instead, let them eat when they are hungry, but also try to encourage them to try something different.
Create an Eating Routine
Kids will never get to enjoy the plethora of flavors if they are snacking all day long and not even hungry when dinner comes around. An eating routine can keep their bellies full, and stops them from ruining their appetite or letting prepared food go to waste. An eating routine schedule can help them get hungry at the right time and it should encourage them to wait for their meal. Of course there are always exceptions.
Be Patient when Trying New Food
Small kids are not always willing to try new food. They prefer to eat what they recognize and what they know tastes good. This can be an issue when trying to solve picky eating habits. It’s still important to be patient when trying to expand their palette. The average child will not immediately love a lamb curry, no matter how delicious it is. Instead, you need to introduce the flavors slowly. Let your kids try a little sample here and there, and don’t be discouraged if they don’t take to it immediately. In our home, we have the motto, “If you don’t like it, that’s okay as long as you try it”.
Make Eating Fun
Just like playing games or watching a movie, making eating fun can contribute to an awesome family night. If you’re trying to encourage less fussiness in their eating habits, you can get everyone together to prepare the meal. This teaches them the ingredients and can give them a new perspective, showing them that there’s nothing scary about these different ingredients.
We are still working on eating habits, especially with the kids home all day and snacks readily available. I have been following my own advice and have already noticed a difference for the better.