It is every mother's desire to see their children grow up healthy. Baby from birth to 4 months are fed either with breast milk or infant formula approved by the doctor. From 4 to 6 months onwards, solid food is gradually introduced as your baby's nutritional needs increases. Up to the stage when your baby grows to become a toddler, he or she may have had the fun of trying various types of food and drinks, as you carefully prepare them to ensure your child's diet is balanced and complete.
Ideally, your child should love to eat the food that you prepare for them; but most of the times your child may do just the opposite. He or she may refuse to eat the food and end up throwing a tantrum hoping that mommy will say, "It's okay, if you don't like it, I will make something that you like". How should mothers handle such situation? Throwing the food is not an option as it only reinforces your child to be pickier with the food.
You may have tried to "bribe" your child to finish the food and afterward reward him or her with a snack. At times when your frustration rises to the ceiling, you may have resorted to the way of punishment just to get the plate cleared.
Don't be discouraged! Help is at hand. As much as you want your child to eat a balance meal to ensure proper growth, your child would soon learn to see food as yummy and eating time, fun and rewarding. How can you achieve that? Here are several simple yet effective tips which many mothers shared with each other in dealing with children who are picky eaters. The result was amazing; both mothers and their children are enjoying the meal time as much as play time!
Food appearance does matter.
When you prepare your child's food, try using food of various colors to appeal to his or her senses. Try serving broccoli, egg, and carrot in a plate and watch your child's eye beam with joy! To make the food looks more interesting, try using a cookie cutter to cut it.
Don't force your child to eat.
No matter how hard you tried to introduce healthy food to your child, he or she may not always respond with a smiley face. For example, if you have been trying to get your child to eat plain looking oats and your child rather say no, don't worry. Try adding strawberries, bananas, or peaches and mix it with the oats, your child will surely love the taste! Learn the different creative ways to feed your child. When faced with resistance, get him or her to eat another kind of food that provides similar nutrition.
Go groceries shopping together.
Bring your child along when you shop for groceries. You can let your child choose the type of fruits and vegetables to buy. Also, another great benefit for shopping with your child is that you can teach him or her the name of the fruits and vegetables. The next time you cook it, it will ring a bell in their memory; thus, reducing any possible resistance.
Offer new foods at the beginning of the mealtime.
During such time, your child will feel most hungry. They will want to eat any kind of food and pay little notice whether the food has been disliked before. When you introduce a new type of food in times like this, your child may discover that he or she likes the taste very much and will enjoy it the next time it is served.
Parents, be a good role model to your child
You may be surprised that most research discovered that parents whom themselves are picky eaters tend to have children with similar traits. The reason is simple. Children see their parents as role model and will mimic how parents consume food. It's always to teach your children not to take food that is high in fats and so on, but this must be taught to your child in a right manner. If you refuse or complain about healthy foods such as vegetable soup, whole meal bread, and salmon fish because of your personal preference, your child may think that those foods are not good for them. They will think "Since mommy doesn't like it, I don't like it too."
Well, like all mothers would agree, children's meal time could either be an enjoyable experience or it could drive you mad every time you see your child turn his or her head when food is presented. With much patience and observation, you will soon learn about your child's eating habits. By using the tips shared above, we believe your child will love the meal time while you get more and more excited about preparing the next meal for them.