It is very important to eat healthily, but sometimes it can be hard to persuade your children to embrace the same view. This can be a particularly hard battle if you have fussy eaters in the family, but try to avoid getting too worked up or stressed about the problem. Instead, have a think about the many different ways you can help your children improve their diets without making them feel pressured or anxious. Here are some of the things you need to know that can help in dealing with fussy eaters:
Know the causes of fussy eating
One of the first things to do when you are hoping to help your child improve their diet is to have a think about the different causes of fussy eating. No two children are alike, and by the same token, no two fussy eaters are the same. However, by having a look at the way they react to meal times you could be able to identify some common problems.
Reasons for fussy eating
Potential reasons for fussy eating include attention seeking or a desire to demonstrate control, so it’s important to recognize that food itself may not be the root of the problem. On the other hand, children are known to learn by example, so if you’re struggling with your child’s diet, it could be worth having a close look at your own.
Solutions to fussy eating
While it may be tempting to resort to scare tactics or force-feeding your fussy eaters, this is not the best way to encourage them to broaden their diet. In fact, it’s more likely to cause other problems down the line. Better solutions include simply removing a meal your child refuses to eat and to offer a simple alternative such as bread and butter with a glass of milk. Don’t be tricked into thinking that cooking an alternative meal is the best choice, as this could just encourage your child to think it’s a game and a way to hold power over you.
Disguising the taste of certain foods is another way to encourage fussy eaters to broaden their horizons, for example adding some cheese or mayonnaise to a dish can alter its taste and make it more palatable to children. Letting your kids become involved with meal preparations and removing all distractions when it comes to meal times are a couple of other methods to help your kids get to grips with new foods.
You’d also do well to remember that, while fussy eating may seem like a very stressful situation, it’s not one you are facing alone. Fussy eating is a very common complaint amongst children, and it’s only in very serious or prolonged cases that you’re likely to have to visit specialists or a children’s hospital. First of all, relax and start helping your child discover the joys of food rather than scaring them with horror stories.