Some kids are naturally fussy about food, while others, not so much. A review of studies in 2015 showed that picky and choosy eating habits are affected by and linked to personality traits, social influences to maternal eating patterns, as well as social influences.
At the same time, parents must remember that being picky is just a kid thing. According to Dr. Lee Gibson, PhD, director of Clinical and Health Psychology Research Center in London at University of Roehampton, and a reader in biopsychology, fussy eating is normal in children. Moreover, applying strict dietary regimens in an effort to make the children eat right and over-reacting is counter-productive. Child specialist in Karachi would suggest to teach the child to eat right through example.
Here are some tips to help you in case your child is a picky eater:
Stick to routine
It’s better to have a routine when it comes to eating. Meals and snacks should be eaten at the same time every day. This way, if the child does not eat a meal, snacking in between is nutritive.
Don’t prepare a separate meal
Picky eating habits can be incorporated in the child, if you make a separate meal for him if he rejects the original meal. Even if the child doesn’t eat, encourage them to sit at the table with everyone at meal times, and don’t make them a separate meal even if they choose to remain hungry otherwise.
Make eating vegetable fun
If you want to encourage your child to eat veggies, try serving them up with their favorite sauce or dip. With a cookie cutter, you can cut the veggies into various shapes to spark interest. Brightly colored vegetables, paired with dips and sauces can make eating fun for the kids.
Minimize the distractions at meal times
Eating with the television on, or having any device or electronic gadgets can distract the child during meal time. Ensure that you remove any distractions so the child can focus on their food. This advice is as helpful for adults as for children.
Shop with your child
Another fun way to incorporate vegetables into the diet is to shop for them with your child. At the grocery store, tell your child about the nutritive advantages of different food items and encourage them to select the fruits and vegetables they want to eat. Recruit their help in rinsing, washing and preparing the dishes.
Dessert should not be offered as reward
To ensure that you don’t increase the desire of sweets in your child, don’t withhold dessert, or offer it as reward. Pick a night or two during a week in which to make dessert, and for the rest of the week don’t have dessert regularly as part of the main meal. Another way is to incorporate healthy options like flavored yogurt and fruits, as desserts.
Eating right is necessary for the proper growth and development of your child. If you think, being a picky eater is compromising their growth, then seek the help of your healthcare provider, or the top Child specialist in Karachi, who can help promote healthy eating in your child.