Picky Eater Tips
How to cope when your little one gets fussy with food
Contemporary Pediatrics reported that up to 30% of parents describe their children as having some sort of problem with eating. First, they will only eat white foods; then they won’t try vegetables. My baby girl wouldn’t eat pasta for at least a month (and no, she is not on Atkins). Even though stubbornness is normal and decreases with age, you probably feel as though you need to do something if your child is surviving solely on animal crackers and apple juice for survival. Here are our tips to have your little opening up her palate in no time!
Give up the battle: Children will try in earnest to win the power struggle over food, and we’re here to tell you: Don’t fight them! You can offer nutritious foods, but the “clean plate club” has got to go. They won’t react well to being forced.
Lead by example: If you want your babes to eat healthfully, you’ve got to, too! Greens, lean protein, and whole wheat grains are an excellent place to start.
Give straightforward praise: Showing that you appreciate them trying new foods (no matter how small the bite) shows that you’re noticing progress and hard work.
Forget the clock: Don’t put too much pressure on the time of day they eat or if they’re eating from all of the food groups during every meal. As long as they’re eating from a variety of food groups over the course of a week, they should be fine.
Budding vegetarians: Confused as to what is fussy and what is the start of a vegetarian lifestyle? If your little bud won’t touch meat, don’t freak. Just be sure to offer plenty of protein-packed choices such as cheese, yogurt, and peanut butter to make up the difference. And always offer meat. If they naturally shy away from it, again, don’t force!
If they simply won’t touch the green stuff: If your tiny tot avoids all veggies, try to disguise the greens with sauces or dips. Hummus works miracles on carrots, and teriyaki sauce is perfect for stir-frying Chinese vegetables. If all else fails, try zucchini muffins, chickpea blondies, or sweet pumpkin bread. They will never taste the difference!
Sweet tooth: If your sweetie won’t eat anything but candy and sweets, simply try to incorporate “sweeter” foods in with healthy treats. Think natural cocoa mixed into a healthy fruit smoothie, or agave-sweetened carrots and peas. Yum!
xx, The FabFitFun Team