Food can be a touchy subject, particularly when your fussy-eater starts to realise the power of the word ‘no’. This new-found weapon can be challenging for parents, but these tips are sure to help your child come around.
Don’t bargain with your child to eat their food if they’ve rejected dinner. Bribing them with dessert to finish off a plate is also something you shouldn’t be doing. This could not only cause your fussy-eater to associate mealtimes with anxiety, but they may also develop a power struggle over food. Allow your child the chance to decide what portion they’d like.
Respect your child’s appetite
It’s entirely possible that your child simply just isn’t hungry. If they have had a snack or a box of juice an hour before dinner, chances are they won’t be interested in a plate of food. Rather have it on stand-by for when your child gets hungry.
Preparing one meal for everyone
Establish a set routine of eating together at the dinner table as a family; this will help establish mealtimes as an event that your child can look forward to. Make sure that there are no toys, cellphones or tablets at the table so that your child’s focus is solely on the task at hand: Eating their food. If they don’t like what’s on the table, do not go prepare something else. Your child needs to understand that it is all or nothing.
Be creative (presentation) or pair new foods with old ones
Get your fussy-eater involved in the prepping of new dishes before a mealtime. If you are trying to get them to eat their veggies, play around with the presentation of the food, or pair something new with something old. The key is to make food a fun experience. Kids are more likely to be excited about eating something that they had a hand in preparing.
Words: Geraldine Amoko | Photography: Unsplash