Picky Eaters – Tips to handle them

Picky eating habits in children

Picky Eaters – It can get pretty taxing to handle them! Do you have a toddler or preschooler who refuses to eat healthy food? This is generally the case in many households. There are many reasons for this.

Why are kids, picky eaters?

picky eatersSometimes, parents are to be blamed for poor eating habits of a child. Working parents have no time to prepare nutritious meals for kids and end up serving them packaged food and drinks. Fast food like burgers and hot dogs, fizzy drinks, chocolate bars, fried snacks are kept within easy reach of children. As a result, the child does not wish to eat raw fruits and vegetables which are more nutritious than their packaged counterparts which have preservatives and are far from fresh.

Picky Eaters – How to handle them

Make food look attractive

Parents must make sure the child gets at least 3 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day. It does not take much time to serve chopped fruits topped with cream and a cherry. Remember, the more attractive you make food look, the better. You could serve a cheese-vegetable sandwich with a smiley ketchup face and call him Mr Smiley. I tried this and it worked!

Avoid large snacks before meals

Make sure kids do not eat a large snack before dinner. If they are very hungry you could serve them dinner a bit earlier. And if they ask for food later, you could hand over fruits instead. Tell them they can have only fruits or may be munch on some nuts(if not allergic to nuts) and be firm on that.

Story telling with fruits and veggies

Make kids aware of the importance of fruits and vegetables by telling them stories of fruits and vegetables where each fruit/ vegetable is a living character. You could find many stories online or in books.

Serve small meals at short intervals

Instead of having three large meals, serve smaller helpings at regular intervals. The child will not feel stuffed and will be willing to eat.

Flavor plain milk

Many children refuse to drink milk. You could flavor it with chocolate, strawberry, mango flavored nutritional supplements. If this does not work, make sure they have other dairy products like yogurt or cheese.

Be good yourself

Set a good example yourself. Kids learn from you. Make sure you eat salads, sprouts, fruits etc and set an example to your child. When kids in the neighborhood or at school fall sick, you can tell your child that it happened because those kids did not eat healthy food. This will show your child the importance of healthy food.

Avoid junk food

Do not buy junk food. Stock up on nuts and fresh fruits instead. you can show the child that this is not available and he can eat only what is available. Do not give in to tantrums and buy it from out. Let your child help with meal preparation. You could let your child do simple tasks like removing peas from pods, or rolling out small chapatis or tortillas. Let them do tasks that are not messy. When the food is done congratulate your child and encourage him  to taste it.

Force feeding – Avoid it

Never ever force feed your child. Your child will begin to hate the very process of eating and will deliberately pretend to eat very slowly and may even hide food under the table. Be gentle and allow your child to finish his food. Follow these tips to make your child a healthy eater.

Practice patience along with these tips and see your child’s eating habits improve.

You may also like...

Written by

Freelance writer and a 24/7 busy super mom to a bubbly, energetic 8 year old boy...Here I am trying to simplify this complicated yet beautiful mystery called motherhood with a zealous effort at reaching out to other moms like me...And yes! I strongly believe in Karma..So if you wish Life doesn't throw lemons at you...you know what to do! Enjoy your time at The Life Studio.

3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thanks for the tips. My children can be picky eaters too. But sometimes as a working mother we don’t have time to even decorate the food to make it appealing for them.

  2. I know Carolyn, it can be pretty taxing for a working mother to decorate food. Leave the decorating part, keep nuts and fruits handy when they feel like snacking.Serve food in funny bowls or cute kiddo plates. This works with my son, I actually hide chocolates n biscuits and tell him there is nothing at home other than the food I’m serving him. You can always treat kids to these later. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

Let me know what you think!