The problem about a picky eater is not only that they do not eat enough but that they do not eat enough of the right kinds of food – including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and fish. Most parents worry about picky eaters because they tend to have more taste for foods carrying empty calories (sweets, chips, sugary juices, and colas) as these tend to taste better compared to healthy foods, resulting in poor nutrition and even obesity. So how do you deal with a picky eater?
Add Something Healthy To What He Already Likes
You cannot make your child develop healthy eating habits overnight but you can start by slowly introducing healthier elements into foods that he already likes. For example, add fruits to his cereal, fresh blueberries to his pancakes, or put carrots to his meatballs.
Prepare Meals With Your Kids
Believe it or not, kids like to participate in cooking and preparing treats. Try out a new healthy recipe and allow your kid to help out. Take your kid grocery shopping and then let him pick one or two fruits and one or two vegetables. This will give him a sense of ownership to the healthier food that you have and will encourage him to eat what he owns.
Don’t Stock On Junk
If there are no chips or colas in the house, your child will have no choice but to eat of what is there. Stock on healthy foods for meals and snacks and avoid buying junk foods, lots of sweets, and other foods rich in empty calories.
Schedule Meals and Snack Time
Picky eaters may not eat a lot so parents are obliged to give food whenever they ask. However, this will only aggravate your child’s already poor eating habit. Create a schedule for meals and snacks, instead, and stick to it. When your kids realize that they will only be getting food at a certain schedule, they will eat what they are served.
Do Not Reinforce “Overeating”
Serve only what you know your child can consume. Do not overfeed your child or force your child to finish with a clean plate. Identify the amount of food that makes your child full. Forcing children to eat more than they can take is a leading cause for childhood obesity.
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