When babies gradually transition from milk to solids, many parents have difficulties with getting them to eat or to try new foods. Here are a few tips on how to deal with fussy eaters to make meal times less of a headache for both you and baby.
- Persistence- Keep reintroducing the food that baby seems to frown at or make funny faces when first tasting. Don’t assume that they don’t like it and give up that reinforces picky habits. It also helps not to stare at them in order to see their reaction. That may make baby self conscious and refuse to eat.
- Veges First- Introduce vegetables before sweet things. If done the other way round, children tend to develop a stronger liking to sweet tastes and may then refuse to eat their greens.
- Texture- When baby has teeth, try offering the food in different textures; mashed, cubed, blended. they may refuse boiled apples but enjoy small diced ones. You may also let them feed themselves but keep a close eye to avoid choking.
- Meal Plan- Monitor their eating habbits over a few days. Are they perhaps filled up on in between meal snacks that their simply not hungry at meal time? That could result in a seemingly fussy eater. Try to stick to a scheduled meal plan to regulate their appetite for better results .
- Independence- As children come out of the toddler stage they become more assertive and allowing them to decide what food for example, vegetables, they would like for supper or allowing them to dish for themselves may make them more likely to eat. Letting them help you prepare the meal will also make them look forward to eating the food because they were part of the process of preparing it.
- Food Art- Make the food look appealing. Try different colors, smiley faces and different plates and cutlery.
- Eat with your children where possible- Making meal time social makes them less self conscious. It is also a great time to start teaching about names of the food their eating.
- A good example- If you know other kids who are about the same age and don’t struggle with eating, you could invite them over for a meal. Your child seeing them eat with no fuss may encourage him/her to do the same.
Remember, as long as their eating from the 4 main groups which are Protein, Fruits and Veges, Milk and dairy products and starch then don’t worry if its always the same favorites. You can gradually reintroduce new foods that they make have rejected before. Please do share any other tips you may have to help our little ones look forward to eating and eating healthy, in the comments below.
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