Worried about your child who refuses to eat anything except fried and junk food? You are not alone. Many parents worry about what their children eat (and don’t eat), and because of this, we often result to “mealtime battles”. In order to prevent these squabbles, here are a few guidelines to consider that may shift the odds to your favor.
The 7 Rs:
Be mindful of the schedule when serving meals and snacks. It is important that you stick to the everyday routine. This would eventually program their minds and their bodies of when to expect food or in a more simple term, be hungry. Offer juice or milk with food. Filling up on juice or milk throughout the day might decrease your child’s appetite for meals.
Ask your child to do the groceries with you. Let them help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy food. Try not to buy anything that you don’t want your child to eat. This may also serve as your time to educate your child about the food groups.
Refrain from offering dessert as a reward. Doing such might send the message that dessert is the best food and may lead to the increase of your child’s desire for sweets.
Forcing your child to eat certain foods won’t help, not at all. Bribing wouldn’t be the answer either, as it may only cause further stress to feeding for both you and your baby. This might also result to your child associating mealtime with frustration and anxiety. Make sure that you only serve in moderation to avoid overwhelming your child, but most important is you recognize your baby’s signs and respect the child’s mood. You wouldn’t like it if people jammed food in your mouth when you’re not hungry either, would you?
Other tips found on the next page…
5. Role Model
Be a role model and set a good example. Your child is more likely to follow suit if they see you eating a variety of healthy food.
It helps to be creative when it comes to your meal preparations. Reinvent your spaghetti recipe by adding green peppers or chopped broccoli to your sauce. You may also try topping your kid’s favorite cereal with fruit slices.
Be patient when it comes to reminding your child about your “mealtime rules”. If your child rejects food on the table, refrain from giving or preparing a separate meal. Remind them that you are not a short-order cook. Convince your child to stay at the table whether they eat or not during family mealtime. As cliché as it may seem, remind your child that the family that eats together, stays together.
Meals should be a bond that everybody should enjoy together. Dealing with a picky eater child won’t be easy, but when they grow up, you’ll realize it’s all worth it. Remember, the formula to raise a healthy child isn’t only about nutrition, it also requires affectionate discipline and education.
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***Image source: 1. http://www.channel4.com/4food/featur…g-picky-eaters