It is natural for kids to be picky eaters or decide not to eat a lot on a given day. In order to counteract these situations, it is important to encourage healthy eating habits.
Refusing to eat something because of its color or texture, losing interest in something that they used to love eating, or refusing to try new things are some common behaviors seen in children when the acquire certain independence and start to take control of what they eat. When this happens, it is necessary to encourage eating habits that allow them to discover the enjoyable and nutritious side of food. The website Family doctor offers some advice:
- Serve the correct quantities – small portions will give them the opportunity to have seconds.
- Cut the food in creative ways, use molds for cookies, or create shapes with all the ingredients on their plate.
- When grocery shopping, let your child help choose the food. Also, encourage them to participate in meal preparation, which will boost their curiosity for food.
- Become their best example – if your child sees you eating well-balanced meals, they will most likely want to do the same.
- Establish regular meal times and a special place for your child at the table.
Keep in mind
Scolding, punishments, and rewards to encourage your child to eat is not the solution, as this will only make them unwilling to adopt healthy eating habits. The best thing to do is to give them space so that they can be the ones to identify when their body tells them they are hungry, and they will resort to healthy food.