Tag Archive | "picky eater"

Food Fighters: How to Handle Your Child’s Dining Dramas

When you have a child in the house, then you know that every meal time can become a struggle. You may have a toddler who will only eat spaghetti and no other kind of pasta and no other food on the table. Your preschooler may insist on eating with his hands, and making the dinner table look like an aftermath of a world war. And then there’s the child who seems to be food-phobic.

Mealtimes are supposed to be fun and relaxing for the entire family. Help your young child ease into the healthy eating habits.

The All-or-Nothing Eater

This is the child whose appetite is either ravenous or completely absent, but never in between. This means that on some days, your child may eat anything at all and want to eat all the time, but on other days will refuse a single spoonful. This is most common in toddlers.

Here’s why you shouldn’t worry. Your toddler does not have to eat much, and that’s why he or she doesn’t. Grow is slower during toddlerhood, so calorie needs are lower as well. An infant feeds frequently because he or she grows fast, but a toddler‘s growth pace is that of a snail’s.

Toddlers are natural grazers, so don’t expect them to sit through a meal when they’re not hungry. Give your child five mini-meals instead of the three main ones. Avoid empty calories such as sodas and offer filling but nutritious snacks. This is a problem that solves itself on its own in time. Your child will ask for something to eat when he or she feels it.

The Only-or-Nothing Eater

This child will eat only a particular type of food and nothing else. He or she will eat chicken nuggets in the morning, chicken nuggets for lunch and chicken nuggets for dinner, and the same chicken nuggets for snacks. You don’t even have to ask what he or she wants, because it’s always the same.

Young children depend of routines and repetition for comfort and security. That’s why toddlers get thrown off their pleasant disposition if their daily routines get changed. Young children like to play with the same toys, listen to the same sounds, read the same books and be with the same people they see every day. The same is true for wanting the same foods every meal time.

Your biggest concern is that your child eats, so prepare what he or she wants, but you should always offer a nutritious alternative or an extra. For example, if it’s chicken nuggets all the way, serve with fries, fresh fruits or steamed vegetable pieces.

The Food-phobic

This child will run and hide when a strange new food is served. Toddlers exhibit this most often – they are afraid of unfamiliar flavors. The good news is, this is really temporary. Kids grow out of this by the time they are four or five years old when they are ready to try out new tastes. In the meantime, be consistent in offering new foods. They may or may not appreciate them, but your gentle persistence will eventually get to them, and they will learn to try the foods out.  

Whatever you do, never bribe or threaten your child into eating a new food. Time is all your child needs to grow out of his or her food phobia.

The Food Throwing Machine

You may think your child is doing it on purpose – food just ends up everywhere, every meal time. It’s on the floor, on the table, on his or her shirt, on the wall, on his or her sister’s hair, on your plate, but never ever on his or her plate or in his or her cup.  

Here’s a scenario you may be familiar with – you give your child a sippy cup with milk and turn your back for a second. The next thing you know, your toddler’s hands are happily playing with a puddle of milk on the table.

If you have a toddler who is doing all of the above, resist the urge to think he or she is deliberately annoying you. In reality, your little one is just curious about everything – how fast his piece of nugget falls to the floor, or how many spoon banging will crush a piece of carrot. Your child loves the feeling of anything squishy between his or her fingers, and doesn’t know yet that food is not the same as Play-Doh.  

Never punish your young one for making a mess – if you do, meal-time will be a dreadful time for him or her. Instead, use positive reinforcement. Toddlers only eat for about five to ten minutes – anything beyond that and they get bored, so offer distractions like a toy or take them off the table.

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How do Moms Handle a Picky Eater

Your precious little one is at it again. You probably have tried every theatrical antic possible to the point of using sound effects to appease your child to eat what is being served at the table. The problem though takes a toll when your angel now refuses to eat and obviously will continue such display of manipulation as you beg more.

How can mothers really handle a picky eater?

The world of psychology recognizes that each child has his distinct character which will have to be explored. Normally though, a child will not starve himself to death so giving in to his take is a possibility. When he becomes hungry, all you have to do is to serve him again with the same set of foods.

Nonetheless, the presentation of the foods could be the big problem. Even as adults, we eat with our eyes and the children’s flair for creativity all the more makes good food presentation a  must. Bear in mind that every eating experience is a new idea to your child; familiarity is something they want to stick to. But then again, there are colors, textures and tastes you can experiment with. Give them choices and serve their foods in a manner that is irresistible. Try to incorporate their fave cartoon character or perhaps their most loved color. Their inclination for strong vivid colors could be taken advantage of so do not let this opportunity pass; green leafy vegetables and carrots are but some examples.

Do not forget to also consider what you also want in a meal. Simply put, as previous studies have already revealed, picky parents make picky children. You would not expect your child to eat something you won’t eat. Additionally, when you try to introduce foods, it is more effective if you try to coax him in eating small proportions. This way, his taste buds will be able to adjust to the different flavors of foods. If he is somehow, not contented with the taste of the food, accept that and move on to other foods. During the next eating sessions, introducing the same food in a different manner could also prove effective.

It is also important to avoid the temptation of offering your child foods that are sugary. Aside from the false sense of fullness sugary foods give, your child will probably just stick to the appealing taste of these kinds of foods.

Do not also forget that essentially, eating, as a task could also be affected by the environment. Is your child eating while watching the TV? Is he focused with his newly-found gadget? Is your baby consumed with too much concentration on the latest game in the net? If these are the cases you’ll have to contend with for his attention, then, put a stop to it. Eating should be a relaxing experience.

In all of these, you should also consider that, like you, your child is probably encountering a food that does not really suit his taste. Recognize if this is the case for a specific food. It is okay to be strict but at times, you should also empathize, besides, you have probably been picky at one point in your life.

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