We all know that a healthy, varied diet is important for our child's growing needs. But what should you do if your child turns up his nose at just about everything.
Offer your child a wide variety of foods, he will get a balanced diet. It is better for him to eat something that he likes even if you disapprove of it than to eat nothing at all.
If your child refuses to eat fruits and vegetables, try to make them more tempting or more fun, but do not camouflage a detested food by mixing it with something else. The child should eat because he wants to and for no other reason. Encourage your child to feed himself.
- Serve food that is fresh and presented in an attractive way.
- Create a mealtime that is pleasant and relaxed.
- Talk about food; this may encourage a child to eat. Whenever possible, allow children to choose from one or two items on the menu (for example, a choice of peas or carrots for vegetables).
- Give your child the same food you eat.
You should be careful that the child is not overweight. Overweight kids are more likely to remain heavy as adults. This can lead to any number of health problems.
Your child should eat a more balanced diet. Start by setting a good example. If other members of your family commonly eats lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, your kids will learn to eat a good diet. Kids tend to copy their parents, so if you eat well, they are more likely to eat well too. Do not get angry and do not panic if the child refuses to eat. If you are concerned about your child's dietary intake, talk to your doctor or a dietician. Put less on your child's plate and praise your child for eating even a little. Try to make meals enjoyable and not just about eating. Limit snacks and drinks between meals. Drinking too much liquid can lessen your child's appetite. This will help ensure that your child is hungry enough to eat solid foods. Do not overfeed. Obesity in children is rarely recognised by parents and is a major health problem.
Children's tastes change. One day they will hate something and a month later they'll love it. Fussy eaters are often slow eaters who dawdle over their plate. It is pointless trying to hurry them. Do not lose your cool at dinner. Simply remove the uneaten food.
If you find that these techniques are not working, there are people who can help. A registered dietician who specialises in children's nutritional needs can assess your situation and provide strategies for dealing with a picky eater.