As a parent, you want the best for your children. That’s why it can be so frustrating if your kid is a picky eater. Huft.
You know it’s important for them to get proper nutrition, but you may not know how to convince them to eat new foods when they put up a fight.
Don’t fret if this sounds familiar. Children are often picky because they may be more sensitive to certain tastes than adults are. They’ll typically grow out of their pickiness by the time they reach adulthood.
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In the meantime, however, you still need to help them along.
If your kid is picky eater, keep these tips in mind to address common issues you may struggle with.
When Your Child Won’t Eat Vegetables
Children often dislike the taste of many vegetables.
Researchers believe this may be due to veggies’ bitter quality. Kids seem to pick up on the bitterness to a greater degree than adults.
Still, it’s certainly necessary for them to develop a taste for vegetables if they are going to get key nutrients. You can encourage them to expand their palate slowly by making vegetarian recipes that kids truly love , or by adding veggies to meals they already enjoy, like pizza or mac and cheese.
Offering kids sauces and dips to pair with vegetables is another effective way to convince them they’re worth trying. By starting slow and gradually introducing new tastes, you’ll eventually find your kids actually enjoy many of the healthy vegetables you serve.
When Your Kid Won’t Try Anything New
Fussy eaters also commonly avoid foods they aren’t familiar with. This can result in a very limited number of meals they’re actually willing to eat.
Again, you can guard against this by adding new foods to meals they enjoy as side dishes.
Your child might also be more inclined to try a new food if they had a hand in preparing the meal. Get them involved in the kitchen, and they’ll start to develop an interest in different ingredients.
The most important thing is to set fair boundaries.
Don’t agree to make a new meal every time your kid decides they don’t like what you’re serving. If a child knows you’ll make them something else when they refuse to eat what you’ve prepared, they won’t feel the need to try anything new.
When Your Kid Dislikes Water
Some children also dislike the taste of water.
If they don’t change, they may be more likely do consume excessive amounts of sugary beverages. This can result in many health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.
Prevent these by making water more fun for your child. Simply adding a few drops of food coloring can transform boring water into a colorful “treat.” You might also add a couple drops of fruit juice at first. Eventually, you want them to start drinking water on its own, but in the meantime, adding a little sweetness and color can make it more appealing.
Parents also need to model healthy eating habits for their children. A kid won’t feel as though trying certain foods is important if their parents avoid them.
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By keeping these tips in mind and setting a good example, you’ll help your child become much more adventurous with food.