Snack Healthy Blog!
For most people eating habits develop in their early childhood and the eating patterns can continue into adolescence and then through to adulthood. In most cases the picky eating often appears around one year this is a time when many children start feeding themselves. After rapid growth during infancy, toddler’s growth and appetite generally tends to slow down. They can now choose what and how much to eat, giving them some degree of control over their lives. Therefore, some days they may eat a lot of everything. Other days they may not seem to eat much at all. So, what can you as parents do when you are this situation. Also, it is must to choose the healthy snacks for picky eaters.
1. Be A Healthy Eating Role Model: To start off, if you yourself eat a variety of healthy foods, your child is more likely to follow you. Also it goes without saying that when trying to teach good eating habits to your kid the parents should try to set themselves as a best example such as by choosing nutritious snacks, eat at the table as a family, and don't missing or skipping your meals.
2. Have a Set Meal And Snack Times: Consistency is a great helper in setting and managing good eating habits not only just your kid but even adults can also get benefited by it. Set times for serving the meals and healthy snacks for picky eaters in your home and serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day. In the meal offer a variety of healthy foods and drinks. Aside from water at the meals, milk, yogurt and juices can be included This will allow your kid and family members to know when it’s time for them to fuel up.
3. Avoid or Minimize Distractions: To help your kid focus on eating, try to avoid all possible disruptions and distractions they may have. So, turn off the electronic gadgets such as television, mobile phones and your tablets during mealtimes. Also remember not to each in front of watching TV shows or movies since kids oriented advertisements will tempt not just the kid but others as well to crave for sugary junk foods instead of healthy foods that’s on the table!
4. Offer Variety of Healthy Foods: At the mealtime offer a variety of food choices; including the foods that your child does like. One of the ways to encourage your kid to try out new foods is to put them close to the foods your child already likes. Let her to smell, touch and taste the new food. Bring and offer new foods to the kids as frequently as you can but don’t expect you kid to eat them at once. It is normal for kids to be offered a new food more than 10-15 times before they try it. Pro Tip: Keep healthy foods, such as a bowl of berries, oranges or bananas, where your kid can reach them so when they get hungry, they can easily get to good foods. You’d be surprised how much and how often these foods will get eaten compared to when they are kept in the pantry of fridge!
5. Introduce Foods Multiple Times: If your child does not like the food on the first try, it’s okay – keep trying. It is completely normal for a child to reject a food when it is first introduced. In fact, it can take anywhere from 10-20 times just seeing a food before a child will try it. Don’t give up and keep introducing new foods. Just remember, do not force your little one to eat the food; let them try it when they are ready. Your job is just to keep putting it on the table.
6. Play With Food: As small children still learning about the outside world and exploring new textures, a new food can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is essential that, before you expect your little ones to eat a new food, we first allow them to explore that food. Even get messy! While talking to them about the food describe the texture, smell, color and taste of the food. This will let them know what to expect when they eat it.
7. Let Them Be in Control: For most people food is personal, it is the same for children. When children feel out of control, they can become upset and refuse to each all foods, sometimes even their favorite ones. To avoid this, always give your child a few choices during mealtime. Offer carrots, cucumbers or broccoli and let your child choose. Always try to have at least one of their preferred food in those choices.
8. Don't Have Expectations: Before you say anything, it is okay for them to spit food out! It is important that we let the kids try a new food, but they do not need have to finish it if they didn’t like it. They can even spit it out if they don’t like it. It is also perfectly fine that at be times when they choose nothing, and it’s important to be okay with that sometimes. Some kids simply will not like certain foods and that’s okay! As adults, we also have our food preferences. It may sound hard as it seems, the best thing you can do is to accept and move on. Don’t make a big deal out of it and they won’t either.
Pro Tip: Preparing a separate meal for your child after she rejects the original meal might promote picky eating. Similarly offering your child their favorite cupcake in exchange for finishing their broccoli as a reward is also a slippery slope. Encourage your child to stay at the table for the designated mealtime, even if he or she doesn't eat.
9. Be Creative When Needed: Most parents are used to this work around! Adding a chopped broccoli or green peppers to spaghetti sauce, topping cereal with fruit slices, or mixing grated zucchini and carrots soups can amazingly make the kids eat them sometimes without realizing what’s it in!
10. Never Force Food: Sounds familiar? Many parents force their child to eat food they want her to eat. This can create a negative relationship with food even way into their adulthood. On the other hand it may actually lead your child to eat even fewer foods. Another downside is that it can also lead them to have poor self-regulation around food. We want children to be able to learn how to control how much they eat and develop a healthy relationship with eating.
11. Involve Your Kid in Cooking:
At grocery store: Seek your kids help to select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. Don't buy anything that you don't want your child to eat. At home, encourage your child to help you rinse veggies, stir batter or set the table.
At mealtimes: Prepare meals together. Having a hand in making the meal increases the chances that your child will taste her “creation.” Have your little one assist with measuring, pouring, or stirring. I understand it’s not easy to build in the time to deal with mess, but allowing your kid to be involved in the meal time prep, it will not only bring a sense of achievement but will also help them know and trust what food that will be eating.
12. Remember Food is Not love! Don’t use food to reward your kid and show your affection lest they start using food to cope with stress or other emotions. Find other ways to say how much you love them. Offer hugs, praise, and attention instead of food treats.
It's very difficult to feed picky eaters at home and even packing a lunchbox. So, you should check some of the yummy and healthy snacks school lunch ideas for picky eaters to make it easy.
About The Author : Preeti Verma
Preeti is one of contributing writers at SnackPass Canada. She wants to helps you with issues related to growing kids and healthy eating.