It is good to see my niece growing up. My brother and sister-in-law have been feeding her well. However, they admitted that she is a picky eater, unwilling to east unfamiliar food. Through experience and ideas exchange with other parents, nowadays, they have little problem getting her to eat many food, including vegetables. Following are some of the tips they would like to share:
- Many things happen around the toddlers are learning experience, including eating. Therefore, you can make that experience more fun to encourage your toddler to try new food and eat what you offer them. Dipping is a fun way to get toddler to try new food. Healthy fruit dips can be served with strawberries, bananas, apple and pears. However, most fruits are sweet by themselves and can be accepted by kids even without any drips.
- Cutting vegetables up in different shapes may change the texture slightly and can become appealing to toddlers.
- If the new food is rejected, accept the refusal calmly. Try again in some other weeks. Even if the kid always refuse to eat vegetable, continue to offer it as an option together with the meals. Once she is familiar with the new foods and new taste, she will become more adventurous and pick it up eventually.
- The other trick is to offer new food together with her old favorites. Do not offer new food every day – 1 or 2 times a week is a good start.
- Be a role model for your children. If they see adults enjoying foods, they are more likely to try them. On the other hand, If you do not want your kids to eat high calories food such as french fries, potato chips, ice cream, chocolate or soda drink, do not have them in the house. If you eat them behind the kids and the kids find out, they may beg for them or view them as highly desirable.
- Many parents, especially Asian parents, want the kids to finish all the food on the plate. You can let your kids to decide how much to eat. Offer a small serve initially and give them more if they are really hungry. Do not force them to eat more than they should. Do not let rules, begging or bargaining influence your child’s eating pattern.
- If the kids leave their meal and you may get worried whether they have eaten enough, you can store it appropriately so you can offer it later if they come back asking for food.
- Never combine rewards with food. Do not use the kid’s favorite food as rewards for doing something good.
- Let children explore. The more they know about a food, such as where it grows and how to prepare it, the more they will enjoy eating it. You can involve in your child in grocery shopping and meal preparation.
- Eat as a family as much as possible.
Most toddlers are very picky. Once they are older than 4 or 5, they will grow out of that “phase” and begin to eat healthily. My parents told me I was once like that too. I am fortunate that my mum never get tired in trying to get me eat veggies like green beas, brocolli, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, spinach when I were small. Being a good parent is not easy indeed. Hopefully, with the tips above, you get your kids to eat healthily.
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