Is Your Child A Picky Eater? Try These Tips To Ensure They Get Sufficient Nutrition
Below we share some tips to help you ensure your kid eats enough nutrients in their diet as a picky eater.
Offer a wide range of foods from different food groups to expose picky eaters to different tastes
A picky eater refers to someone, usually a child, who is selective and hesitant when it comes to trying and consuming various types of food. They often have strong preferences and aversions towards certain tastes, textures, smells, or appearances of food.
Kids may have heightened sensitivity to certain tastes, textures, or smells, which can make them averse to certain foods. During early childhood, when children are developing their preferences and asserting their independence, they may be more resistant to trying new foods.
Children often have a preference for familiar foods and routines, as they find comfort and security in what they know. They may resist trying new foods due to the fear of the unknown. Keep reading as we discuss some tips to help you ensure your kid eats enough nutrients in their diet as a picky eater.
10 Tips to ensure your kid gets enough nutritious foods daily as a picky eater:
1. Introduce variety
Offer a wide range of foods from different food groups to expose picky eaters to different tastes and textures. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products in their diet.
2. Be a role model
Children often mimic their parent's behaviour, so it is important to model healthy eating habits yourself. Show them that you enjoy a variety of nutritious foods.
3. Involve children in meal planning
Let them help you plan meals or choose healthy snacks. This can create a sense of ownership and make them more likely to try new foods.
4. Make it fun
Try making meals visually appealing by creating colourful and creative food presentations. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and textures to make eating more exciting for picky eaters.
5. Start small
Begin with a small portion of new foods or unfamiliar flavours and gradually increase their exposure to them. It takes time for some children to adapt to new tastes, so be patient and persistent.
6. Offer alternatives
Provide healthy alternatives to favourite unhealthy foods. For example, replace potato chips with baked sweet potato slices or offer frozen yogurt instead of ice cream.
7. Sneak in nutrients
Hide nutritious ingredients in meals, purees, or smoothies. For example, blend vegetables into pasta sauces, add spinach to smoothies, or incorporate fruits and vegetables into homemade muffins or pancakes.
8. Don't force it
Forcing a child to eat a particular food can lead to negative associations with that food. Offer foods without pressure, and allow them to explore and taste at their own pace.
9. Limit sugary drinks and snacks
Reduce or eliminate sugary beverages such as soda, fruit juices, or flavoured milk. Replace them with healthier options like water, unsweetened milk, or natural fruit-infused water.
10. Be persistent and patient
It may take several exposures before a child tries and accepts a new food. Don't give up on offering healthy options, even if they initially reject them. Keep introducing a variety of nutritious foods, and eventually, their taste preferences may expand.
It's important to note that picky eating is a normal phase of child development, and most children outgrow it over time. However, if picky eating becomes severe and starts to affect a child's growth, nutrition, or psychological well-being, it is recommended to seek guidance from a healthcare professional.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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