5 Tips to Encourage Healthy Eating in Fussy Eaters
It is normal to feel stressed when dealing with a fussy eater. Nevertheless, parents need to try and relax, and look for the best tricks and strategies to encourage their kids to eat healthy.
It’s About Quality, not Quantity.
This is one thing almost every parent needs to keep telling themselves, or even chant. While it certainly is true that children need to consume balanced nutrition in the right amounts, you need to keep in mind that it is not all about quantity.
It is totally fine if your toddler or an older child ate a really small snack, as long as it is packed with goodness/nutrition. Always focus on the brighter aspect, be realistic, and try not to stress about how large or small her serving is. In short, focus more on ‘what’ she ate instead of ‘how much’.
Eat the Same Foods
Make sure kids eat the same food as you. This makes things easier, too, in terms of how much energy and time you spend preparing meals for the family. It is a great way to encourage kids to eat food that everybody else is eating, and not ask for things that aren’t served on the table. Make sure there are vegetables and fruits, and some greens served as often as you could.
Variety is Key
Different shapes, colours, texture, can draw your child’s attention at once – there is no doubt about it. This is the best trick to encourage them to try different foods and flavours. When it comes to fruit and veggies for instance, you not only would think about cutting each of them in different shapes, or about choosing different coloured fruits to make your spread colourful, but also focus on introducing types.
For instance, serve a plate of dried mangoes or peaches on a particular occasion. This should help you discover their preferences, too. For instance, your toddler who wouldn’t touch mangoes, might end up loving the naturally dried version. Look for reliable natural dried fruit products and reliable stores that sell the best stuff. You’d never regret the efforts you make!
Keep Meals & Snacks Simple
Kids don’t like looking at dishes that look a mess, and when it comes to a fussy eater, there’s no question about it. Always keep your servings simple and pleasant to look at, because that’s what makes their little minds decide whether they should go for it or not. Simpler meals require less effort, too, and would mean less wastage in every aspect.
Use Practical Tricks
It is an almost impossible task to get your fussy eater to eat and try new foods without offering them a bribe. While this is one strategy that surely works for most parents, and in some cases, do wonders, you need to make sure your approach is right.
One advice offered by many experts is that parents should choose to reward their kids (for finishing their meal/trying a new veggie/fruit for the first time) with non-food items, such as a little toy, stickers or so. Choosing such items instead of sweets – lollies and candies, makes the whole process of training/encouraging your child more effective and focussed.