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12 Tips for Curing Picky Eaters

12 Tips for Curing Picky Eaters

It’s common for many young children to be picky eaters. Your child can happily eat some foods while refusing the others. This can lead to an unbalanced and unhealthy diet, which is something you’ll want to avoid. Whether this is just a short phase or it lasts longer, you can help your child get used to balanced nutrition with a few simple pieces of advice. The thing that most often occurs if your child is a picky eater is a power struggle, and it is important that you hold your ground, use smart tactics and be patient.

1. Don’t spoil your child by giving in and offering their favorite food all the time

Plate full of candy

    If a child refuses food, parents get scared that he or she will stay hungry. However, if this happens you should definitely avoid giving your child his or her favorite food immediately. This is because your child will learn to manipulate you into getting what they want every time, and the food the child wants probably isn’t healthy or rich in essential nutrients. Instead, you can give the child a smaller portion or a healthy snack like some fruit. That way they will not have an empty belly and they will be more eager to eat when it’s time for the next meal.

    2. Have your main meals at a set time each day

    Set meal time

      Three main meals a day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—served at about the same time every day is the key. You can also give your child one or two healthy snacks a day, but not more than that. If a child eats snacks all day, especially before meals, she won’t be hungry and probably will refuse to eat. Many kids would rather have a pack of chips than a balanced meal. If you have meals at a set time of day, the child will eventually get hungry right before the meal, which reduces the chances of him or her refusing to eat. Always keep at least two hours between snacks and meals.

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      3. Feed your kids the same thing you eat

      Set a good example

        Be honest, even you would probably rather eat pizza than something healthy, but if you eat a burger and feed your kids vegetables, they will protest and want the burger, too. Kids look up to you. So if you want to teach your child to eat a variety of food, you should set the example and do it yourself first. And if you are all eating the same thing, your child won’t have a reason to complain.

        4. Have several different types of food at every meal

        Diverse plate

          We all know that a balanced meal has many health benefits. Your child needs over 40 different nutrients every day for good health, and, of course, you cannot find all of that in a single type of food. There are five food groups important for child’s nutrition—dairy, veggies, fruits, grain foods, and meat. All of this combined gives your child enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Besides, when you serve different types of food every time, even if your child refuses to eat some of them, he will still get enough nutrients for the day.

          5. Take away distractions at the dinner table

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          Playing at the table

            Your child should know that when it’s meal time it’s time to eat. That means no TV, no games, and no toys or other distractions at the dinner table! If you let your child play while eating she will learn that the dinner table is a playground and get too distracted to eat. Most kids would rather play than eat, especially if it doesn’t like the food you served. So, save games and toys for the playground and the food for the dinner table.

            6. Teach your kids proper table manners

            rich kids table manners

              Let’s face it—most kids are not neat while eating. They spit and burp and eat with their hands. In order to teach you child proper table manners, what you have to do first is set the example. Don’t let your kid see you eating with your hands, or sitting on the couch. Children imitate what they see. Manners start at the moment you call your children for dinner. One of the first things you have to teach your kids is that they have to wash their hands before meal, find their spot at the table, and sit until everyone is done. Also, try eating with the whole family as much as possible . And, of course, don’t forget to praise your child. When they do something right tell them, “Good job!”

              7. Never try to bribe your child with sweets

              Girl eating doughnut

                Unlike just giving in and letting them eat what they want, some parents try to bribe their kids with the promise of dessert. If you try to bribe a child with sweets she will get used to it and will ask for sweets every time. The child will then associate sweets with some kind of reward and vegetables will become even less appealing compared to sweets. This fosters bad habits and can lead to eating disorders later in life, e.g., eating lots of sweets when you feel bad, or as a reward after a hard day at school or work.

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                Of course, it is alright to give your kids sweets from time to time. If the child is completely restricted from having snacks or sweets, the desire for them will increase, and the probability of a child overeating when they do get the chance to eat sweets is high. Just don’t make them a bargain chip or special reward. You can reward them with fun play time or by teaching them a cool skill.

                8. Make sure they eat at least one bite of everything on the plate

                Healthy food mix

                  Many parents are already familiar with the one-bite rule. It states that the child must eat at least one bite of everything on the plate—it’s as simple as that. The child doesn’t have to like it, they just have to take one bite of each food. The most important thing about this rule is that a child doesn’t have to eat more if they don’t like it, so don’t force your kid to eat more. One bite is one bite. Eventually, the child will probably get used to many different types of food and with some luck, he will eat more than just that one bite.

                  9. Let them try out different recipes with same food

                  Tomato recipes

                    Picky eaters refuse eating many types of food, but in most cases it’s vegetables. You can try to make your child eat something they don’t like by simply changing it a bit. If the kid won’t eat tomatoes, try making a nice tomato sauce, or if she doesn’t like boiled eggs, try making an omelet. For every food your kid hates, you can find a recipe for making it another way, so that your kid doesn’t even know what’s really in the meal.

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                    10. Keep offering your kid different foods he or she gets used to them

                    Child unhappy with dinner choice

                      If your child refuses to eat something, don’t write it off immediately. Just switch to something else. Children will usually need at least 10-15 tries to get used to a new taste. You will just have to be persistent. When a kid doesn’t like the new food the first time, try it again. Kids often smell or touch new food first, so just be patient. There are some easy shortcuts for this problem, like serving new food with your child’s favorite food or the one bite rule mentioned previously.

                      11. Chop up veggies to into small chunks and put them in every dish

                      Frying chopped veggetables

                        Lots of kids hate vegetables. One of the most difficult things is to get your child to eat vegetables, especially if he or she is a picky eater. If you chop up veggies into very small chunks you can put them in every meal without the child even noticing. Be sure to clean the veggies properly first—you don’t want your child to start associating vegetables with stomach problems. Kids often use their eyes to gauge if something seems appealing, and if they see vegetables on the table they will refuse to eat them. You can also cut the food into various shapes with cookie cutters. This way you can get your child to like fruits and vegetables without them knowing.

                        12. Spices and sauces are a great way to help the child associate new foods with a familiar taste

                        A variety of spices

                          If it’s hard to get your child to try new food, you should definitely try this: Is there a spice or sauce your child enjoys? Just put that in the food you are trying to get your kid to eat, and you will get new food but with an old familiar taste. Try putting less of it in the food every time until the child gets used to a new taste. That is a great way to help your child gradually warm up to new food and new tastes.

                          Proper nutrition is vital for a child’s health. Children have their own unique needs regarding food because they are still growing, and it’s up to their parents to fulfill those needs. Always remember that the key for healthy eating is to enjoy a variety of foods. That’s the only way your body can receive all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to function properly. And don’t forget to celebrate small victories—if your child accepts even one type of new food, it is a good start!

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                          Ivan Dimitrijevic

                          Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                          Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                          How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                          How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                          When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                          So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                          1. Exercise

                          It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                          2. Drink in Moderation

                          I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                          3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                          Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                          4. Watch Less Television

                          A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                          Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                          5. Eat Less Red Meat

                          Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                          If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                          6. Don’t Smoke

                          This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                          7. Socialize

                          Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                          8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                          Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                          9. Be Optimistic

                          Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                          10. Own a Pet

                          Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                          11. Drink Coffee

                          Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                          12. Eat Less

                          Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                          13. Meditate

                          Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                          Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                          How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                          14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                          Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                          15. Laugh Often

                          Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                          16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                          Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                          17. Cook Your Own Food

                          When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                          Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                          18. Eat Mushrooms

                          Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                          19. Floss

                          Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                          20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                          Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                          Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                          21. Have Sex

                          Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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                          Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                          [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                          [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                          [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                          [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                          [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                          [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                          [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                          [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                          [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                          [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                          [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                          [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                          [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                          [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                          [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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