Have you got a fussy or picky eater in your house? Are you finding it hard to be inventive to get them to eat healthy food? Good 4 U in-house dietitian Michelle Butler shares her top tips for fussy eaters.
1. Don’t force a meal or snack
If you force a meal or snack, children will begin to associate food with anxiety and stress. Let your child decide when they are full – don’t argue about food.
2. Don’t get into the habit of promising a treat after dinner.
This generally leads to an increasing struggle over food as the child becomes totally distracted with the treat. You might select one or two nights a week as dessert nights, and skip dessert the rest of the week — or redefine dessert as fruit, yogurt or other healthy choices.
3. Stick to a routine
Try to give your child meals at the same time every day where possible. Only offer water in between meals as children can very easily fill up on Juice and Milk throughout the day. Serve these drinks with meals. Be sure to add 3 parts water to 1 part juice.
4. Trying new foods
If they refuse the food – mention that it’s a shame because Nana or Daddy loves it, and you think they’re missing out.
5. Minimize distractions
Turn off the television during meals. This will help your child focus on eating. Keep in mind that television advertising might also encourage your child to desire sugary foods.
6. Include children as much as possible.
Try to include children when preparing meals and shopping.
You may also like 8 Proven Family meals Picky Eaters Love
7. Teach some food facts
Teach some simple nutrition facts such as ‘milk keeps your bones strong’
8. Use seeds
Sprinkle seeds on breakfast cereals or add to smoothies to add a boost of vitamins and minerals, particularly iron and zinc, minerals of concern in children. Good4U seeds have been roasted which makes them easier to digest. Or if you have a coffee grinder you can mill the seed to disguise it even more.
9. Hide shoots
Hide shoots in food simply by adding to burgers or soups or any pasta dish. Alfalfa shoots are very mild so kids would not even recognise them.
Get inventive with ways to present the food also. Bento meals can add some fun to mealtime while ensuring the kids are getting their nutrients – here are 13 Brilliant Bento Box Ideas Your Kids will Love.
Eat together as a family and try to avoid making separate meals for kids. Monkey see monkey do – if they see you eating it they might try it!
Are your kids or partner a fussy eater? Have you any tips for other parents on feeding fussy eaters? Share them in the comments below