Selective eating is a normal behavior in toddlers from ages 2-3. It can also occur in adults. A picky eater is a child with a limited or very selective range of food choices. They refuse to try a variety of food or are persistent in eating the same food that may need more nutrients. They may dislike its taste, color, or smell. Picky eating can be considered a normal part of childhood development, but it may cause problems by interfering with normal development and growth. For example, if a child eats a limited variety of food, their body may not receive adequate nutrients to support health and growth. Before you throw in the towel, read this article. Here is what to do when your child is a picky eater.
Start With Variety
All you can do is try. Offer variety in food. Supply different fruits, protein sources, or vegetables at a time. It will help your child to appreciate a variety of tastes and colors. Having a wide selection gives them something to choose from.
Say No to Enforcing Food
It would help if you tried to make meal times a healthy and enjoyable space rather than forcing your child to eat when he doesn’t want to eat at all or fighting with your child to eat the last two spoons of meals that are left behind. Not only is this considered an abuse of power, but it will polarize them against eating certain types of food. Of course, locking down treats is advised to keep your child from taking advantage of the situation. Try to make meals enjoyable and have something light and familiar in case they become hungry later.
Make a Routine
Always make a routine of when to serve food and snacks. Children thrive on predictability, and the parent can make a healthy routine of serving food. Remember to keep an eye on what kind of snacks you offer. Relying on unhealthy snacks reduces the appetite, and your child will probably lose their hunger at mealtime. Fruits like apple slices are the best for snacks. Making a routine will help your child develop healthier eating habits.
Involve Your Child in Meal Planning:
If possible, involve your child in meal planning and preparation. Children are more likely to eat the food that they helped to prepare. You will also learn about their likes and dislikes if they participate in meal prep.
It may take several tries to convince your child to try new food, but you should keep introducing new things as often as possible. Best be patient with your child. Eat healthy with flavor, so they become curious about the food on your plate. These tips will help you choose food for your child and tell you how to manage a picky eater.