Is there anything more frustrating than when your child turns their nose up at a delicious meal you’ve cooked them? You will be annoyed that all of your hard work is going to waste, and you might even stress about what you can feed them instead. It can be especially upsetting if your child is refusing to eat anything healthy that you put in front of them – after all, they won’t be able to live off chips and bread alone!
So, there is no wonder why some parents resort to desperate measures to try and kick their children’s fussy eating habits. Thankfully, though, you don’t have to be too desperate in your measures to try and change things. Hopefully, the following tips and advice will help you improve your child’s eating habits for good!
Lead By Example
First of all, you need to look at your own eating habits. Ideally, you should all be eating your meals together as a family. It’s a time to enjoy each other’s company and catch up with one another. Not only that, though, but it also gives you the chance to set a good example at the table. If your children see you leave certain foods or ingredients on your plate, then they will think that it is perfectly acceptable for them to do so. So, be sure to set a good example whenever you are eating with your children. Clear your plate and have good table manners, and they will quickly follow suit.
Be Sneaky When Cooking
One of the main things that children will refuse to eat is vegetables. Even if they refuse to eat their veggies, it’s still important to cook with them as they are full of important vitamins and minerals. Don’t worry if your child starts to complain as soon as they see certain vegetables on their plate, though. There are a few ways you can hide them in some dishes. For example, grated carrot can be thrown into a bolognese sauce. You can also add grated carrots and courgettes into the sauces of stews and casseroles. Next time you make mashed potato, you might want to try adding some mashed carrot, parsnip or swede. There is no way your child will be able to tell the difference!
Cut Down On Snacks
Some parents find that cutting down on snacks through the day encourages their children to eat more at mealtimes. It makes sense when you think about it – your child will be hungrier and ready for their main meal so will be a lot more likely to eat what is served in front of them. Plus, it also gives you the chance to cut down on the amount of sugar in their diet as most snacks contain high levels of the sweet stuff. This will also help you find out what your child really doesn’t like. No matter how hungry they are, there may be some food that they still turn their nose up at and refuse to eat in any circumstance!
One of my best birthdays yet, even though I was sick! ? I’m getting older, no doubt, but it seems to get better each year. ?? Aleisha baked her first cake , for ME!?(with some help of course!) Beautiful words of love from my nearest and dearest❣️? Top it off with my turn for family dinner, cooking for people I love???? It cannot get better than this! #familydinner #gettingbigger #cookingfor15 #roast #porkbelly #cracklingfordaysssss #asianfood #instagood #instafood #postscript #redismycolour Photo credit: My girl @pia_constantini and her brand spanking new @apple iPhone 8 ? #insidejoke #sorrynotsorry
Offer Them Fruit
Does your child really hate vegetables? That’s quite common amongst young children, and many parents find that it is easier trying to feed their kids fruit. Most kids prefer fruit to veggies as it is a lot sweeter and more palatable to them. So, if you are having a hard time whenever you put any vegetables on your kids’ plates, you might want to start swapping it for fruit. Fruit is just as healthy as veggies and it is a great source of important nutrients, like vitamin C, potassium, and fibre. One other great thing about fruit is that it can be whizzed up to make tasty smoothies and juices. If your kid isn’t so keen on eating fruit, they may prefer to drink it!
Make Food Fun
If food is fun then children will be more likely to try new ingredients and flavours. They will also be a lot more likely to try food that they previously thought they didn’t like. One way to make your meals a lot more enjoyable is to play around with the presentation on the plate. For instance, you could stick broccoli florets into some mashed potato so that it looks like a mountain topped with trees. You might even want to split all the food up on the plate according to what colour it is, so your child’s plate looks like a pretty rainbow. Another idea is to have themed meals. For instance, if you cook them a Mexican dish one night, you could all sit at the table in Mexican fancy dress. Anything you can do to make dinner a bit more enjoyable will definitely go a long way!
If your child is doing something distracting while they are at the table, such as reading a book or playing a small games console, then they won’t really be interested in eating whatever is in front of them. So, make sure there are no distractions brought to your dining room table when it’s meant to be mealtime. Similarly, make sure that the TV is always turned off as well. TVs can take a child’s attention away from their food, and they will be a lot less likely to clear their plate, even if it is their favourite meal.
Children love schedules and routines. You will already know just how important they are when it comes to bedtime and helping your kids get to sleep on time, so why not start using them around mealtimes? Ideally, you need to be eating your meals at around the same time every day. You should also be consistent in your rules again. Don’t tell them that they have to clear their plate one day but then be a bit more relaxed about it the next. Your fussy eaters need consistency, otherwise they won’t make any progress with their eating habits.
Hopefully, you won’t have to worry about a fussy eater ever again after using these tips! Bon appetit!
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