Let’s face it. Getting children to eat food is one of the toughest jobs we come across as parents. Your little human, being strong-willed, will reject almost everything and end up eating sand, if it’s left on them. Instead, we call for peace and end up feeding them nuggets, mac and cheese, pasta and just anything they are willing to eat. So what to do? Keep the pattern going? Absolutely not. In case you have been battling hard with your picky eater, here are a few things that can help you get your kids to eat better.
1. Set the Bar High
If you consider giving your child anything just because “at least they are eating”, then you have to understand the problem is you, not them. As hard as it gets, at the end of the day you have to opt for the best choice, and if you want your kids to be on a healthier track, then you have to raise the bar high. The best way to get a grip on this situation is by making a weekly plan, including fruits, vegetables, proteins and right portions of meat. Then, look out for new recipes to try and play around to serve your child something interesting on their plates.
2. Teach them the Real Deal
How is your child supposed to know what’s best for him/her? You have to tell them. The best way to get them to eat better is to make them aware of the right choices. Take them to the supermarket with you, tell them the names of different vegetables, tell them what good they do, ask them to pick out their favorites and make food an activity rather than just a run-around session. The more you engage them with different kind of fruits and vegetables, the more they will incline towards them.
3. Let them Eat at their Own Pace
Most of us know when our children are hungry and when they are just fooling around. But despite this, we still try to feed them the maximum portions. This is followed by a lot of yelling and running and in the end, half-eaten meals. Instead of arguing over finishing plates, try this golden rule- Let them starve! No, this doesn’t mean starving them for hours but waiting until they come to you looking for food. Once your child has reached the point of absolute hunger, trust me, they won’t care if you are feeding them half-cooked veggies.
4. Do Not Give into Snacks
You know what gets children hooked to sugary, fried eatables? These unplanned snacks. So your child is hungry and you are in a bit of rush, you give them a chocolate. Seems innocent right? These little snacks are the reason that children tend to develop the worst food choices. The best way to deal with these unhealthy snacks is by surrounding yourself with healthier options. Children are easy and tend to eat what’s available to them, therefore take this as a good opportunity and put up a bowl of fruits on the counter. Once the hunger strikes, they will find their way near to that bowl.
5. Be a Role Model
If you chug down junk food and expect your children to magically feed on nothing but self-grown veggies, whole grain and the best food items, then you are kidding yourself. Whatever you eat, whatever you reach out to, be sure that your little human is sneaking up to do the same. Plus healthy food choices is part of a lifestyle, and as parents you are the torch bearer in your child’s life. Therefore, you right habits will influence them.
6. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
If you really want your child to eat good, you have got to appreciate their little steps. Be reasonable and encourage them to try more. It takes time for a child to develop a particular liking for some food item. Therefore be patient and give them little things to do and applaud a whole lot more. These little worships do pay off.
Children can be tough to deal with, especially when it comes to something that would benefit them at the end of the day. A little bit of patience and a whole lot of love can help you over come anything- let alone these poor food choices.