One of the biggest worries that parents have is their children’s eating habits, especially when they are just starting out the food journey. Having to mash or puree a bowl of pumpkin or fruit only for it to end up on your face or floor can be a little disheartening, to put it mildly. Sometimes you even get tempted to just stop giving food altogether! And then you try something new and they like it or you give the same food but they don’t spit this time and you do a little jig!
Such is the life when feeding a baby. All you can do is continue feeding them and hope that truly, a picky eater does not a picky adult make because that’s another level of crazy altogether. A few tips can help you along this journey though. While there are no guarantees that they will all work for you or turn your child into a foodie, they will at least help you have less food spat at you.
Many parents are advised to introduce one fruit or vegetable at a time. This seems logical until you try it and they don’t like that one. Giving them a wider list to choose from allows them to experience variety and turns mealtimes into a discovery period. You can even feed them a pureed version of what’s on your plate. Don’t worry about spices as long as they are all natural and not overboard.
There is always something new to try and if they don’t like it they can just move along to the next food item. It also gets rid of boredom because eating the same thing every day can get mind-numbing.
You think boredom isn’t an issue? A child bored with an activity or food will easily cause a tantrum and that’s not something you want to deal with often and especially at meal time.
- Persistence and repetition
You might need to keep at it a number of times for some foods before they like them. This calls for patience and persistence because it can get very annoying. A little convincing can go a long way.
- You win some, you lose some
If you try something a thousand times and you make no headway, just let it go. You might want them to love the good stuff or at least what you love but you can’t have it all. Choose your battles wisely!
- Indulge her fancies
You’ve tried a few things and you notice there’s one thing she likes more than the others. Use this to your advantage. Every time you want to try something new, make sure what she likes is on the plate. She’ll see familiar food and the rest of the plate won’t look so intimidating. Sneaky? Nah!
- No need to label
‘Eat your veggies’ is an off-putting statement for many kids. You wonder who taught them that veggies aren’t fun to eat, right? Mirror anyone? Just tell her to eat her food without labeling any of it. The only distinction on her side should be the taste, texture and color (if they aren’t color blind).
- No big deal
Some adults freak out when they see a child eating something out of the expected range. So what if a child is eating octopus? As long as it poses no harm to their health just give it to them with a straight face as though it were pureed apples. That way, you don’t make room for worry or doubt on their end.
- Just a bite
Sometimes you know the food tastes really good but your child won’t even try it! Try and get them to have just one bite. They may not like it the first time but many more single bites will get their taste buds used to the flavor and they eventually will warm up to it.