Young children tend to be picky eaters. This is because all sorts of food and tastes are still new to toddlers and they won’t eat anything particularly unattractive (in most cases, vegetables) or not sweet. When you force them to eat something they don’t want to try, this usually leads to meal time meltdowns.
But dealing with it calmly and implementing new strategies, you can end picky eating for good!
Follow these easy strategies to deal with picky eaters:
Don’t use labels
When you “label” your kid’s eating habits like “she doesn’t eat that!”, “she doesn’t like broccoli” or “she only eats chicken nuggets” when telling others about your meal time experiences, it’s more likely that she’ll retain that behaviour.
Children own up to labels given to them and when you put a name to their habits during meal times, it’s like you’re giving them permission to continue those habits. Even positive labels are not a good idea – if you say one child is a good eater, your toddler will assume he’s the bad eater and he’s most likely to stick to that label.
Control the pantry
Keep this in mind – you can’t control what your child eats, but you can control what options they have to choose from. You have total control of what goes into your home pantry so take advantage of it.
If your toddler is overindulging in sweet treats or junk food, buy less of those. Stock the pantry with healthier options and if your toddler gets hungry, then he’ll have no choice but to eat what’s available in the pantry.
Don’t make meal times a struggle
As a parent, your job is to provide your children a healthy meal. Provide a healthy item in their plate and leave them be – be encouraging but let it be completely up to them if they’re going to eat it or not. The more you get involved, the more power you give your child to create a problem.
Meal times together as a family are supposed to be something your kids look forward to so don’t make each one a battle.
Encouraging your child to better his eating habits is not going to be an easy process, but just be patient, continue to be encouraging and most of all, be a good role model of good eating habits to him.
Follow the abovementioned strategies to deal with picky eaters!