It is common for children to develop picky eating habits as toddlers, and some continue to be picky eaters into adulthood. As a parent, this can be very frustrating. You serve your child healthy food daily, only to have them repeatedly turn their nose up at it. If they are extremely picky, you may even worry about their nutrition. At Adventures in Learning, as a preschool in Orange, CA, we have had many picky eaters as students, so we know how difficult it can be. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to encourage your child to diversify their diet and get the nutrients they need. Here are some of our tips for dealing with picky eaters:
Don’t force feed them
If you are constantly arguing with your child over the dinner table, you are surrounding food with anxiety, frustration, and stress. This does not help your current situation, and it certainly won’t help your child’s relationship with food long term. Give your child small portions and allow them to ask for seconds as they desire. This will make it less stressful for the both of you.
Follow a strict schedule
Be sure to serve your meals at the same time every day. This will ensure that your child doesn’t fill up on snacks or juice throughout the day so they will actually be hungry during meals.
Get them involved
Bring them grocery shopping to get ingredients, and then have them help you cook in an age appropriate way, such as stirring or cleaning vegetables. If your child contributes to the meal, they will be more invested in the outcome.
Expose them to new foods
You don’t need to force your child into eating new foods, but give them exposure to them. For example, serve something new at dinner, and encourage them to touch, smell, and maybe taste the new food. They may refuse at first, but continue to serve the food on a regular basis. Eventually, they may be comfortable enough with it to give it a try.
As a preschool in Orange, CA, we understand your frustration with your picky eater, and hope that our tips help you. If you are looking for a child care center or preschool in Orange, CA, Adventures in Learning is a great choice. Contact us today for more information.