If you have a picky eater on your hands, you know how frustrating meal times can be. If your little one refused to eat anything but plain hot dogs, chances are you are wondering whether they are getting an adequate amount of nutrition.
Many parents have worries about what their children will and won't eat. A child doesn't tend to have mature food preferences. Until that changes, use these tips to help stop those mealtime battles you've been dealing with.
1. Don't Force Meals
If your child tells you they aren't hungry, don't force them to eat. You should also avoid "making" your child eat everything on their plate. This can cause your child to be anxious during mealtimes and make matters worse.
2. Routine Is Key
Serve meals at the same time every day. The same goes for snacks. Don't let your child fill up on fruit juices between meals or snacks. Provide these with meals and have your child drink water in between. Fruit juice will only help to fill your child up and have them eat less.
3. Introducing New Foods
If you want to introduce your child to a new food, do so in small amounts. Talk to your child about the color of the food, the texture and how it smells. Serve new foods with your child's preferred foods and encourage them to try it. If they tell you that they don't like the new food, don't force them to eat it.
4. Don't Replace Food
You aren't a fast food worker or a short-order cook. If your child doesn't want to eat what you serve for a meal, that's fine, but don't make them something else. Have your child sit with the rest of the family during the meal and excuse them as you normally would.
5. Make Meals Fun
Children like to be entertained and surprised. Offer pancakes for dinner. Cut sandwiches into fun shapes with a cookie cutter. Be creative with foods to encourage your child to eat without you having to nag.
6. Be An Example
If your child sees you digging your hand into a bag of chips instead of a bag of carrots, you can expect them to want to follow suit. Be the example for your child.
7. Turn Off The Entertainment
Meal times should be for eating and not watching television, listening to music or playing games. Phones and tablets should not be permitted at the table. Turn off the distractions and make mealtime all about the food.
8. Opt for Pediatric Supplements
If you are concerned that your child is not getting all of the nutrition they require, speak with your pediatrician. Make a list of what your child eats for a week and hand the list over. Your child could be eating healthier than you think. If your child truly does need to eat a bit more nutritiously, Med on the Go has pediatric supplements for that purpose. Place your order online or contact us for more information.