If you have a child who eats only certain types of food, refuses to finish what is served on the plate or eats the same every day, then your child is a picky eater.” This is how nutritionist Melissa Somers defines it.
This situation can be frustrating for parents. But do not worry.
According to the nutritionist, this is common in children who are in the process of developing preferences and tastes.
Then the expert provides us with a series of tips that ultimately will help improve the eating habits of your child and reduce the fussy-baby syndrome when he or she eats.
First, these recommendations are focused on what you as a parent should put into practice:
• Stay positive during meal times.
• Ignore negative behavior as much as possible.
• Never bribe or reward your child to force him or her to eat.
• Never punish your child for not eating.
• Give your child two options of food if time and situation allow it.
• Avoid a power struggle; if your child refuses to eat, never force him or her to do so.
The following tips focus on what your children should have:
• Have quiet time before meals to allow children to be relaxed, so they can eat better.
• Have television off during meal times to avoid the distractions and to promote conversation.
• Have a meal schedule to allow children to eat every three to four hours. It helps regulate their biological clocks and also allows them to learn when they feel hungry or when they are full.
• Have young children experience different flavors and textures.
• Have your children decide the amount that they want to eat and when they have eaten enough.
• Have your children help in the preparation of food, either by helping buy groceries, cooking or serving food.
According to the nutritionist, the following tips are as important as good eating habits.
• Serve simple meals and try one new food at a time.
• Stimulate children’s interest by varying sizes, textures, shapes and colors.
• Offer balanced meals in which children can find both vegetables and fruits.
• Serve child portions. It is better to serve less and later have your children ask for more.
• Introduce new foods in small portions.
• Remember that food must be served at least ten times before a picky child eats it in acceptable portions.
• Try the simple pleasures of life. Balance eating times with smart food options and physical activities.