- Picky eater
Children take time to develop a habit, be it good manners, potty training or eating behavior.
It is the easiest for a mom to throw in the towel and declare her child as a picky eater. In fact the child could be a choosy, meticulous eater, with specific likes and dislikes. We never ate broccoli and our veggies when we were 2 or 3 years old. We know the nutritive value as adults and hence expect the child to gulp down his oatmeal and greens without a whimper. Getting a child to sit down at the table for 3 square meals of the day may seem a daunting task. Some tips to overcome this hurdle:
1. How much is enough: Every child has a particular pattern of hunger and pangs. Some eat their stomachs full and thus do not turn up to the kitchen cabinet before 3-4 hours. And some like to have small meals every hour.
If you are not a working mom or have domestic help, both the cases should suit you fine. Small amounts in designated gaps is also good. Do not worry if the friends son/daughter eats well at the table. Feed as much as the child is comfortable at one given point of time.
Remember you are feeding his tummy and not yours.
2. Variety, variety, variety: Children thrive on variety as we adults also need it. Change the menu if the child is adventurous or imaginative.
Also try to mash veggies and nutrients available in powder form in the supermarkets into discreet food items like milk, pot roast. Incorporate vitamins into cereals and stop worrying about the rest.
3. Involve child:
when you make a sandwich for a kid, ask him what he would like to stuff in it. He may like a carrot instead of a tomato, so go ahead and do it, some children may ask for a cream biscuit between 2 layers of bread.
Invlove child in cooking
Ask the child to make his own sandwich and food of choice. Once when you give in to his whims, next time he will oblige you when you ask him to eat his greens.
4. Table discipline: Even if he does not eat, seat the child at the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now this has to be a pin-down affair, simply because when he sees the others enjoying and relishing their meal, he may ask you gently to allow him to taste the food a bit and thus slowly and gradually you achieve two objectives.
The-sit-at-the-table -and-eat routine and also his tolerance to a variety of food. When he sees his siblings eating lettuce and broccoli and not dying out of it, he will know he can too!
5. Cut down on Fast Food: if you want your child to eat mainstream food and not just thrive on fast food and colas, then determine one single day of the week for junk and the rest for healthy food.
Let them eat junk on the predetermined day without a protest and they will probably listen to you when you ask them to eat healthy the rest of the days.
The results will be slow and excruciating, but down the road,the rewards will surely follow!