When time is tight, parents simply don’t have the resources to cook separate meals for picky kids. But if their food habits are also making them lose weight, here are a few tips that can help please a picky eater.
- Don’t make a big noise about introducing new foods, but if you can create some excitement in another sibling, it might encourage the picky eater to try it too.
- Do involve the picky eater when deciding what’s on the menu and, if possible, get them to help with the preparation of the food. Children are far more likely to eat something when they feel in control of what’s on offer.
- Add a surprise to packed lunches. It’s a good way to discover what works and what doesn’t. You might be surprised what a picky eater will try when you’re not around.
- You can get children to eat just about any vegetable with conscious, slight variations and presented in an interesting way.
- Try adding tasty side dishes or then once in a while fry crispies of attractive shapes and colours – most kids love them.
- On weekends or at dinner serve food ietms, which are good, messy fun. Preschoolers love spending time exploring and enjoying the contents. Or serve thin sticks of carrot, celery, pepper, cauliflower etc with a dip of mayonnaise or cheese to nibble when watching TV.
- If possible let them grow some of the ingredients used in cooking like coriander or curry leaves that are good for garnish in order to increase their interest.
- At meal times, put food on the table in warm serving dishes to kids can help themselves.
Pleasing a picky eater is only half the battle. It’s all about balance too. Keep an eye on portion sizes and control the amount of fat and carbohydrate consumed. There’s a lot to be gained from encouraging healthy eating routine early on. Research suggests that children who eat better also do better at studies!