It is not uncommon for children to be picky eaters.
However, it is common for parents to get frustrated with kids for being picky eaters. Often this results in punishment, bribery, sweet-talk and other persuasive techniques.
These may be more or less effective in the short-term but the child still continues to be a picky eater.
Along with their many other adorable habits, picky eating is also one of the idiosyncrasies about some children that parents need to cope with. They are children after all and allowed to be unreasonable about certain things. The important thing is that they grow as healthy and fit children.
The snack problem
Some children love snacks and are constantly munching them all day. They don’t look undernourished either. But does that mean they’re healthy? Probably not – all the snacking has taken away their appetite for mealtimes.
Chips, cookies and sodas are okay once in a while, but definitely not as a substitute for healthy food.
Kids will get hungry between mealtimes so two snack times (morning and evening) are good. But the parent should decide the time and nature of the snack. This way you can divide the healthy food into different categories and present it to your child in various ways. They may not like green vegetables as food but cooked as delicious snacks, kids may eat veggies happily.
At the dinner table…
Children are often influenced by their elders. If they see their parents or older siblings being fussy about food, they’ll think its okay for them to do the same. So ensure that you create a happy and positive environment during mealtimes. Your child’s eating habits depend on it.
Forcing children to eat food won’t help. They’ll either start crying or give you a hard time, but the food will remain on the plate. Be gentle and patient with him/her. Serve food in smaller portions next time if they eat only little food off the plate.
Avoid focusing on children’s eating habits at mealtimes. Stop fussing about them and they won’t make a fuss about the food!