Have you ever had a battle of the wills at the supper table? You’re sitting there waiting for your child to take just one bite and your child is not having any of it. Been there, done that… many times. My child is a picky eater.
So what do you do? Believe me I have tried pretty much everything short of force feeding her. There are so many different ideas and trains of thought on this subject. But I’m going to share what has worked for us.
Involve them in meal preparation
My kids even help me with the meal plan each week. I always ask if there is anything in particular they want. Having them involved and seeing how things are made and having them proud of what they help make can make a huge difference in them eating that meal.
Try not to make a big deal of it
the more of a deal with make about it, the more my daughter digs in her heals and refuses to eat. It doesn’t work. It’s so hard not to worry about it. My daughter is small and is low in iron, of course I worry!! But making it a big deal makes it worse. We have a rule she has to sit at the table and drink her milk at supper time, the rest is kind of up to her.
Include one thing on the plate you know they will eat
This can be tricky too as my daughters likes and dislikes seem to change almost daily. But there are some staples I know she’ll eat. This includes dipping sauces. Whether your child loves ketchup or salad dressing or sour cream like my daughter does, put it on their plate! It’s amazing what kids will eat if they can dip it in their favourite sauce!
Routine, routine, routine
We try to eat around the same time each day for meals and snacks. This way she knows when she’s getting food again. If she’s hungry in between she can either eat what’s left over of her last meal or wait until the next planned eating time.
Keep things separate
I like to use those plates that have dividers for her. She doesn’t like her food items touching. If I’m making a casserole or something, I’ll set apart the pieces for her before I mix the whole thing together. The other night we had Chili and I put a whole bunch of the beans in my mouth to get the sauce off so she would eat it. It’s not pretty, but she wanted just the beans and I wanted her to eat!
Be patient! It does start to get somewhat better! Kids will not starve themselves. They will eventually eat when they are hungry. My paediatrician explained it to me this way; a child eats according to what they need. So good luck and keep on instilling those good eating habits! Kids see everything we do as well, so now is a good time to review our eating habits as well!