Many mothers can relate with this: a child who used to be a voracious eater suddenly becomes a picky eater. Don’t fret, that’s completely normal.
Around this age, the rate of growth slows down therefore, they become naturally less hungry. While it can be disconcerting to see your child reject healthy foods he or she formerly loves, take heart that this is a normal stage and it too shall pass. By age four, your child will become adventurous again!
What to do:
1. Eat together. Serve the same food to you and your child. Let them see the joy in eating the food.
2. Do not force them. Don’t pressure your child to try something or finish her meal. Do not punish your little one (LO) either for not complying. This will reinforce a dislike for food.
3. Serve different things. When serving your child’s meal, make sure to include at least one thing you know he or she eats such as milk or bread. Let it end at that. Then, serve a well rounded meal that you will enjoy. Don’t cater only to suit your child’s taste.The idea is making a child integrate into a family’s meal structure, not the other way around.
4. Don’t reward. Are you rewarded for trying out a new food, eating or finishing your meal? Since you are not, don’t make a big deal out of the fact that your child does the same. Eating is no big deal… You do yourself a favor when you do and do it right.
5.Give them options. As often as possible, your your child the opportunity to choose what she/he wants to eat from what is on the table.
6. Don’t give up! If you start serving foods that she/he detests, your LO may never be get the chance to be adventurous when he/she is ready. The fact she detests a food today does not mean she will always do that; switch it up! Instead of boiling, try roasting.
7. Make it taste good. Sometimes, many of us offer children food we know tastes bland. Which would you rather have? Over-boiled plain veggies or veggies in cream or drizzled with melted butter? There, you have your answer.
8. Do your job. You are to provide tasty, good and nourishing foods at mealtimes, and your child is to choose how much and what to eat.
9. Don’t worry. Your task is to make a child a healthy eater over a long period of time; it spans more than the present meals.
Also read: Tips For Designing A Good Meal Plan
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This article was contributed by Adeola Akanbi
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