Sitting my son down for dinner when he was a little boy was difficult because he always found something he hated on his plate. Saying “Eat your meat, or you will sit here until you finish your plate” didn’t help to change the circumstances.
Kids who are picky eaters can be prone to eat a poorly balanced diet. It seems like this condition can be quite common among younger kids.
As they grow up, kids may bring this behavior along with them which can become a headache for many concerned parents. Parents should try to deal with this problem the correct way if there is any way of trying to help kids follow a more well-balanced diet and stay healthy while growing up.
Identify a Picky Eater
My son started to be a picky eater when he was 2 years old. Picky eaters are usually children aged between two to six years old. Parents should try to observe the behavior of their kids around food or when its regular eating time.
There are telltale signs that can tell a parent of a picky eater in the house. My son was always saying he didn’t like the food on his plate. He was not hungry! If a child usually complains about the food for dinner or refuses to eat specific types of food, you have a picky eater in your hands.
My son was really vocal about it. It was difficult to go to have dinner with friends and family. I was always bringing something for him.
There are kids that remain silent and never complain but may also be picky eaters. Kids who usually push food around their plates instead of eating them can be a sign of a picky eater.
There are various reasons why some kids tend to avoid or refuse to eat certain kinds of foods. Some may dislike eating them because of their color. Others may find some foods difficult to chew or swallow or they don’t like the taste of it.
Knowing the underlying reasons why some kids refuse to eat certain foods may help parents effectively deal with them.
Dealing With It
Dealing with picky eaters does not require force or punishment. Although it may be frustrating, forcing your child to eat something he or she dislikes would not help.
What I did is to respect my son’s strong dislike of certain foods. I didn’t try to pressure him to eat something or even try to prepare a certain dish that he dislikes. Try to find other alternatives that will help avoid a battle.
I was cooking what my son likes to eat and try to encourage him to taste new foods without forcing him. Kids can acquire a taste for a certain food, even something that they previously disliked. My son started to eat new food. I even related some type of food to what was eating his favorites characters in the books and the movies.
Try involving your child in tasks for mealtime, and allow them to help pick out what to eat. You can build their interest in healthy food and share basic meal preparation lessons. Make it a team effort instead of a battle.
The best thing that a parent can do is to encourage them to try out foods without forcing them. Avoid rewarding kids just because they have eaten something that you want them to eat. Kids should learn to eat in order to satisfy their hunger, not because they expect to receive a reward for doing so.