Do you happen to have a fussy eater on your hands? Mealtime always turns out to be a train wreck when a fussy tot is present at the dinner table, tantrums are thrown or they pull a Mahatma Gandhi and go on a hunger strike. Getting a fussy tot to sit down and finish up a nutritious, healthy meal can be a hard mountain to climb but a healthy diet that’s filled with essentials are vital for a growing child. Fussy eating is actually a very common parenting issue most parents tend to face and with these tips on how to overcome a fussy tot during mealtime, you’ll have your little one devouring all of the plate’s contents.
Get Your Tot To Eat Around Other Children
Have your tot eat with other children often, arrange playdates that include all the kids sharing a meal together. Your little ones may pick up on better eating habits from their friends, encouraging them to try the foods they don’t usually like to eat.
Keep Distractions Away
Try and keep any distractions at bay, that means television, games, toys, pets, etc. Pets may pry your little one into sneaking the foods they disagree into the mouths of their furry friends. By getting rid of the distractions, your little one will learn to concentrate better on what’s going on at the dinner table. Distract them into eating with a happy chat or a game instead, they may even get in a broccoli or two without realizing it with all the fun they’re having.
Try New Foods
Maybe they just don’t agree with the usual menu so by introducing new foods will have a better effect on their eating habits. Swap potatoes with sweet potatoes, they may rather the sweeter taste it has to offer. Try a variety of meats and veggies, there has to be one out there that they’d rather ingest. Skip on snacks throughout the day to build their appetites when it comes to actual mealtimes; the hungrier they are, the more likely they’ll finish up whatever’s on their plate.
But Do Not Overwhelm Them With New Foods
Introducing new foods is a great way to changing the eating habits of your little one but it sometimes can be a tad bit overwhelming for them so take it down and notch. Make it more of a weekly thing rather than that of a daily occurrence, introduce new foods in smaller amounts instead of just plating them. Serve new foods alongside with their already favourite foods.
Take A Trip To The Supermarket With Yout Tot
Take a trip to the supermarket with your little one, let them explore every aisle in the store, not the candy aisle though otherwise, the shopping cart will have a bunch of unhealthy goodies. Allow them to explore the fruits and veggies, get the ones that interest them. Teach them and give them some information on the different types of produce, the flavours each of em hold. The second step to getting your little one involved is by having them lend a hand with cooking and setting up the table.
Make Food Fun & Exciting
Play around with mealtime, plate dishes in a fun way for your kids. Cut veggies and fruits into fun shapes, mix in some colours and get downright creative with it. Have your little ones help plate the dishes as well, this will include them in the process and even excite them into eating a whole plate’s worth of food. Get them to eat celery by incorporating the crunchy vegetable in a fun recipe such as ants on a log, peanut butter and celery may sound like a bad match but hey! fries go great with a milkshake.
Condiments To The Rescue!
Mask foods with their favourite condiment, be it ketchup or ranch. Serve it on the side as a dip and have them try dipping a veggie in the condiment before eating it; to their surprise, they may come to like the taste of the combination.
Piling on a bunch of food on their plates is just a recipe for rejection, your little ones will end up losing their appetites seeing a heap of food in front of them. Serve bits by bit so this way, food wastage will be kept to a minimum.
Do Not Repeat Meals
Children easily get bored and with the same range of food being served on a repetitive basis, your little one will bound to get bored and uninterested. Mix it up with new foods, change it up now and then. Meals should have a touch of pizzaz to excite the appetite, plus a variety of foods means a variety of nutritions.
Make Mealtimes Consistent
Scheduling proper mealtimes is key when it comes to a fussy tot, it should be practised as a daily routine. Snacks should not come in the way of breakfast, lunch and dinner, this can easily mess with their appetites when it comes to the important meals of the day. Limit snacks with foods that will not fill their tummies up and keep them nutritious as possible. Have them lay off sugary drinks and snacks as these are empty calories and have zero nutrition value.
Dine As A Family
Sitting down for dinner as a family benefits the entire family, especially when you have a fussy tot at hand. Little ones learn their eating habits from watching their parents or siblings; if they see mommy or daddy having a portion of steamed carrots, they may want to have a taste of it too. It’s also a great way to indulge in some family time. Your little one will gain a sense of encouragement to try and eat foods they disagree usually with, it’ll be an awakening experience when they come to terms with so-called ‘yucky’ foods.
Don’t Use The ‘H’ word
Don’t say vegetables are healthy, the word itself is associated with something that may taste good or deems challenging. Use words like ‘yummy’ or ‘sweet’ instead, this will encourage them to take that leap of faith and give it a try.