10 Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters
We all know how challenging it can be to deal with picky eaters. The frustration of trying to get little ones to eat something other than their favorite snack can be a daily battle. That’s why we’re sharing some of our favorite tips to make mealtime more enjoyable and less stressful for both you and your toddler.
The Picky Eater Struggle
Let's face it, picky eaters can be a tough crowd and their preferences seem to change as frequently as the weather. What they loved yesterday might be met with a resounding "no" today. It can be frustrating, but remember, it's a natural part of their development. They're exploring the world, and that includes their taste buds.
To make things easier, we’ve gathered ten of our favorite tips that can help make mealtime fun and encourage little eaters to try something new.
Top Ten Tips for Tackling Picky Eating
- Lead by Example
Children are more likely to try new foods if they see their parents enjoying them. Be a role model and sample a variety of foods yourself…especially when little ones are watching.
- Let Your Little One Help Set the Table
Let your toddler help set the table. Invest in cheap, colorful silverware and tell your child how fun it will be to use it. “We get to use our purple spoons when we eat our peas today!”
- Offer Variety
Don't get stuck in a food rut. Introduce a wide range of foods early on to expand your child's palate. Experiment with different textures, flavors, and colors.
- Cook Together
Involve your child in the cooking process. Let them help with age-appropriate tasks like stirring, pouring, and mixing. When they have a hand in preparing the meal, they're more likely to want to taste the results.
- Keep Portions Small
Serve small portions to avoid overwhelming your child. This way, they can try a little without feeling pressured to finish a large plate.
- Praise Efforts, Not Just Results
Celebrate every small step your child takes towards trying new foods. Offer praise for their willingness to explore different tastes, even if they don't finish the whole serving.
- Stay Calm and Patient
It can be tempting to get frustrated when your child refuses to eat, but it's essential to remain calm. Pressuring them can make the situation worse. Keep mealtime positive and relaxed.
- Create a Positive Environment
Make mealtimes enjoyable by turning off screens and creating a pleasant atmosphere. Try playing soothing music while you enjoy your meal.
- Don't Force It
Avoid making eating a power struggle. If your child refuses a food, don't force them to eat it. Instead, continue to offer it alongside their preferred choices.
- Be Patient and Persistent
Patience is the name of the game! It may take numerous attempts for your child to accept a new food. Keep offering a variety of options, and over time, their tastes may evolve.
Remember, every child is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Focus on creating a positive mealtime environment where your child feels comfortable exploring new foods. With time and patience, you can help your picky eater develop a more adventurous palate.
Here’s to happy eating!