It’s not easy for parents to have children who are picky eaters. The worry and the stress that come with the fact your children aren’t eating well can take a toll on you. You panic that they’re not eating enough, that they’ll lose too much weight, or maybe even that they’ll starve. Of course, your children aren’t going to starve, but that doesn’t make mealtimes easy, especially when you’ve spent time cooking a nutritious meal.
It’s normal for children of all ages to be picky eaters. However, education is power and whether you are trying to get your kids to eat more veggies or you’re planning more delicious meat-based recipes, you need to work on you as much as you do need to work on your children eating. The reason you need to work on yourself is that you will need patience to get through the picky stages. It will take some time to be OK with them not eating what you put in front of them, but a little understanding goes a long way! With this in mind, here are some tips to get your picky eaters eating well.
- Try to sweeten the bitter veggies. Children will not want to eat new foods, but if you can sweeten them, they’ll be more open to trying them. Sweetening veggies with honey or lemon juice can really appeal to children.
- Choose picky dinners for picky eaters. Dinners that can be eaten with fingers are great for children who are picky about their food. Cutting veggies and fruits into finger shapes can really encourage children to eat more, and if they are able to eat with their hands and not worry about cutlery, you will see a marked improvement in how they eat their food and how much of it goes.
- Be mindful of textures. A child who loves fries may hate mashed potatoes and a child who loves hamburgers may hate bolognese, even if it’s the same meat. Textures are the biggest issue for picky eaters, so be mindful and respectful of your children who are telling you that they cannot deal with certain textures. It’s vital to respect what they can stomach.
- Ask what they like. If you keep serving food your children have told you that they don’t like, you’re going to keep pickiness for good. You can really help your children by serving them what you know they will eat, and then you can reduce their pickiness.
- Keep respecting their tastes. If your partner serves you food that you don’t like, would they expect you to eat it anyway? Of course not, they would respect your wishes. You have to treat your children the same way. Keep serving foods that are new, but always offer them alongside the safe foods that you know they like. This will encourage them to try it and you can relax and enjoy them finally eating new foods. It’s OK to try certain foods many times to see if they change their mind, but if not, respect their taste.