As any parent of a fussy eater can testify, a child that is picky about what’s on their plate can make mealtimes both stressful and complicated. This is especially true if you end up needing to cook different meals for different family members. The easiest thing is to, of course, try to avoid your child becoming a fussy eater in the first place. Preventing a child from developing into a picky eater may be easier said than done, and sometimes kids can become fussy eaters for no apparent reason. However, if there is any chance to avoid a picky eater situation, then it’s worth giving it a try!
As any parent of a fussy eater can testify, a child that is picky about what’s on their plate can make mealtimes both stressful and complicated.
The Early Life Nutrition Coalition state that the First 1000 Days are crucial for developing healthy habits and getting your child off to a great nutritional start in life. This demonstrates that those early days really do count and that dietary habits are formed early on in a child’s life.
A popular way to make the transition between milk feeds and solids is to use baby-led weaning. Baby-led weaning is an approach where instead of feeding your baby food jars, pouches or purees, you instead prepare appropriately prepared and sized food for your child to feed themselves (under supervision, of course, to prevent choking). Baby-led weaning means that your child will experience more textures and flavors rather than eating foods that have been whizzed up and blended together into a puree.
Make Your Mealtimes Matter
Making mealtimes a positive experience that brings the whole family together can help to make eating a meal more of a social event than a chore. Seeing the entire family eating the same dinner sets the standard of what is expected from the child, and should help them to view mealtimes in a positive way. Enjoying your food together and making it a shared experience from the beginning will make your child look forward to spending time together at mealtimes, and will provide quality time for everyone to share their day and talk as a family.
Sticking to regular mealtimes and making them a part of your child’s routine is also a useful way to get everyone eating the same meal at the same time.
Explore Different Flavors
One common problem that parents with children that are fussy eaters have is their fondness for bland foods. A lot of the time fussy eaters shun brightly colored, flavorful food, in preference of bland, beige food.
Encouraging your child to try different textures and flavors is a great way to stop a love for bland food in its tracks before it becomes a habit. Of course, all children are different, and some are naturally fussier eaters than others, but showing an enjoyment for food and discovering new flavors could help.
Getting the family involved in trying new foods, new tastes from around the world, and new combinations can be a useful way to get their palette used to a variety of flavors and keep them interested in trying new tastes.