Is Your Child A Picky Eater? Try These Tips
Every mother goes through a phase where all day she just keeps struggling to get her child to eat something. Almost every child is a fussy and a picky eater and doesn’t like to experiment new things. They think that sitting on a table to eat is the most inefficient use of their time. They could either be playing and make a good use of their energy.
Dealing with a picky eater myself, I tried each and everything which was suggested to me by others. Sometimes I went overboard and tried to force-feed my child which resulted in a disaster and she gave up eating for two days. After trying everything in my power, I consulted a dietitian and a child counselor to know why my child hates eating so much. I understood why children throw so many tantrums while eating and why they don’t feel like eating anything at all.
Sensory Hyper Sensitive Children
This is one of the major cause for a child of today to be a picky eater. Is your child ready to eat fast food and rejects the broccoli you give him? It’s because he has sensory organs which are hyper active. These children are sensitive to different sensory aversions and textures; they may not accept foods just because of it’s smell or how it feels when they take it in their mouth. Texture of the foods plays a major role and you may notice that many kids eat only foods that melt in their mouths, bite and dissolve foods like biscuits and cookies and smooth fatty foods like yogurt and chocolate. Hence, they end up eating fast food and reject everything healthy you offer.
The dressing up of Food
Children have a habit of associating food with something they see around them in nature. The colorful presentations and the way with which you serve it to your child raises their initial interest in food. Cutting up sandwiches into faces of a mickey mouse, adding different colorful fruits to the plate, making a chapati which looks like fish are all examples of how you can make him curious about food. It’s not easy to deal with a picky eater but you have to make him eat. So you can go all creative on the food you serve.
They learn from you sometimes
Have you ever rejected a plate without even tasting it? Well,if yes then that was the day your child learned how to react if he doesn’t want something on his plate. To change this habit try to create a routine for his meals. Sit with him, say prayers, make his meal time a fun time. He should be looking forward to having meals.
Don’t serve till the time you think your child is really hungry
Hunger plays a very big role in why children throw so many tantrums while eating. Sometimes they would be so hungry that they would eat almost everything and sometimes they would just slide their plate in the corner without even tasting. Make sure that your child doesn’t munch snacks in between his big meals. If he would just be partially hungry, he would make you dance on your toes to make him eat.(ALSO READ: Manage your child’s health with these dietary tips)
Also, take care that he gets regular supply of Zinc. Foods that are rich in zinc will make him have a full appetite and he will not that difficult to feed.
Food Time-Fun Time
Your child might be just ignoring food because he thinks that there are many more important things he can do instead of wasting time trying to munch on food. So, to make him sit down in one place and have food, you will need to be creative and make his food time so special, that he finds it worthy enough to spend it with you. Tell him stories and after each major turn give him a bite, associate broccoli with trees and grapes with ostrich eggs, nine bites of chapatis as nine planets and many more such things. Watch the cartoons he watches and then create stories similar to them. Give the food a name and enjoy your meal time.
Teaching your kid to eat is probably the hardest thing to do for a mother. Sometimes even giving birth seems easy. But you don’t have to loose hope. Don’t force feed your child. Try to understand how he feels when he eats certain things. Sometimes kids are scared to eat the food as they think that their taste or texture will make them puke. Give your little angels some time to get used to the eating habits. All you can do is to stay positive, create a routine and be as creative as possible. Your child will eventually learn to eat.
Do let me know if you found the tips to be helpful. Stay tuned for more such insights.
Penned by: Kriti Sharma