Eating is a necessity for healthy development and growth for any person. It is even more important for children but it may not be the easiest thing to do for some of them. Some children are very picky eaters and don’t seem to bat an eyelid at all the different things you put on their plate.
You may get very demoralized if your child refuses to eat yet you went an extra mile to cook up something specifically for him. If it happens every day it feels like you should just quit and give him cookies and milk. It is important to note that new parents tend to worry a lot, especially if their toddlers don’t conform to their expectations.
A parent may overthink the whole situation and change the menu a million times just to make sure the child eats a healthy meal that they fight through instead of making a few adjustments to what they already like, even though it seems like junk.
Children get attracted by color and it keeps them interested. You can place foods of different colors on their plate to get them to experiment with the food and all that is on their mind is the colors. Fruits and vegetables offer a wide variety in terms of color and nutrition.
Ask the child to join in
Taking an interest in food can begin from the time the foods are still raw. Ask them to pick items from the supermarket orfridge or helping to unpack groceries will have them associating food with fun.
Flavor is good
Most parents are afraid that their children may not respond well to strong flavors so they keep their children’s food bland. A toddler’s palate is still young and open to new flavors so play around with them to see what they like. Throw in some spices, a few herbs and maybe even a little chili.
Your child may have decided to stick to banana sandwiches only but it doesn’t hurt to try new things. Place something new on their plate and see how it goes. It may take a while for him to accept it completely so you will have to keep cooking it and expecting a large portion of leftovers. Take heart and be persistent.
Family meal time
Maybe it’s the security that comes with family (or your presence) or the fact that children like to imitate adults but eating together with your child makes meal time so much easier. You may have to make a compromise about your own meal time since toddlers eat a little earlier but it is worth it.
Speak great things about the food
Whenever you introduce a new food to your child tell them that it will make them stronger and give them enough energy to run. If it is something the child enjoys doing they will associate the particular food with good things and will probably want to eat more of it.
Stick to the schedule
Children ideally eat three meals a day and have two snacks in between. The schedule has to be followed for it to work andmonitoring when they take snacks will ensure that they are not too full to eat at meal times.
Cool down and relax because it is going to be a long ride. Your toddler will refuse your food after your hard work shopping and cooking, tears will flow, food will most probably fly at some point and tempers are bound to be set off. Remember it is just a phase and it will pass so look forward to its end.