Some kids are naturally fussy eaters. No matter how hard you try to convince them to eat their broccoli, they don’t want to play ball.
Picky eaters can be stressful, though. You constantly feel like you have to adapt mealtimes to them. They don’t want to follow your lead at all.
The good news is that fussy eating is a normal part of children’s development. About 50 percent of kids will refuse food at some time or another. Most children considered “picky eaters” won’t encounter any developmental issues.
Even so, parents still have reason to worry. Kids who avoid fruits and vegetables when they are young are considerably more likely to develop obesity as they get older.
So what can parents do to get fussy kids to try new foods? Here are some ideas that you might want to try.
Don’t Confront Non-Compliance
In early life, most children will follow your lead. If you like to eat certain types of food, they will just copy you.
However, when they get to preschool age, they begin to develop a sense of independence. Many want to have the option of feeding themselves.
At this point, parents need to be careful. If you attempt to force them to eat, they will resist you even more and may even develop a phobia of certain types of food.
Give your kids time to exercise their independence. Even if they avoid certain types of food, they will eventually come back around and follow your lead. Food choice fads don’t last long.
Serve The Same Food To Everyone
While you don’t want to confront your child, serving everyone the same food can help. It puts everyone in the same boat, and it lets your child pick out the things that they don’t want first, giving them a sense of control.
Make Delicious Food
Most children will accept food regardless of what it contains, as long as it’s delicious. Taste is often the overriding factor that will convince them to eat the right way.
Learning how to make egg rolls, for instance, is a great way to expand their palate. When they try enough new flavors, they are much more likely to accept new foods when they come along.
Be A Model Of Healthy Eating
If you eat poorly but expect your children to eat well, you’re setting yourself up for a fall. They will wonder why you can eat what you like while they’re stuck with healthy foods.
Parents who eat well all the time have children with less picky eating habits. They observe what their parents do and follow them. Plus, they start eating healthier foods from a younger age. They get used to the taste of fruits and vegetables from an early age.
Get Them Involved In Prepping Meals
Lastly, you can get your kids involved in prepping meals with you. The more involved they feel, the more likely they are to feel a sense of ownership over the food they make, increasing the likelihood that they will eat it.