Handling Preschoolers with Fussy Eating Habits
If your kid refuses to try new foods most of the times, he is becoming a fussy eater. This has nothing to do with his temperament. According to a study, kids take time to adjust to new tastes and dishes that are presented to them.
The strange textures and flavors can be troubling for them, and therefore they are resistant to trying new foods. In such situations, resorting to fast food to keep his stomach full is not a good idea. It is important to establish healthy eating patterns for your child to avoid problems such as obesity or eating disorders later in life.
Parents often find it difficult to deal with fussy eaters and end up losing their temper or getting frustrated. Force feeding or unhealthy snacking does not help either. Therefore, it is vital to introduce lumpy foods as early as possible and get them acquainted with new foods in a friendly manner. Children are the best judge of their hunger and fullness signals, so don’t force them to eat.
Be calm and concentrate on making meal times fun for your kid by engaging him. One important thing to remember is that you must not threaten them or yell at them. If you do so, they will be fussier. Also, don’t bribe them as it will spoil them and make them act fussy every time they sit to eat.
Tips for Parents of Fussy Eaters
Here are some tips for the parents for handling fussy eaters.
- Let them eat the same food as the rest of the family. Eat meals together.
- Give them small portions of new dishes and praise them for eating it, even if they only eat one or two bites.
- If they reject the food, don’t force them to eat it. Just take the food away.
- Don’t let them leave the meals until they have finished it all. Again, don’t force them, instead encourage them to eat properly.
- Your kid might be a slow eater, try and stay calm.
- Avoid giving too many snacks between the meals. Limit it to a glass of milk and some fruit slices or some other healthy snack.
- Learn about their eating habits and make sure they get the appropriate amount of nutrition.
- Sit and chat with them. Make mealtimes an enjoyable experience. It should not be just a race to finish.
- Children’s tastes change frequently. One day they will hate something, the other day they will be enjoying it. So be patient.
Healthy and Tasty Recipes for Fussy Eaters
We have compiled two recipes for you, so that your fussy or picky preschooler looks forward to mealtimes. These are so simple that you can ask your preschooler to prepare them. Your assistance is needed only for placing and removing the cake from the oven.
Blueberry and Granola Parfaits
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 cups vanilla flavored fat-free yogurt
- 1 cup granola
- Scoop 1/4 cup yogurt into 4 parfait glasses.
- Top each serving with 1/4 cup blueberries.
- Add 1/4 cup of granola, yogurt and blueberries in each serving
- Serve cold
Oats and Buttermilk Snack Cake
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
- Cooking spray
- 1 large egg
- Mix buttermilk and oats and cover it.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Take a large bowl and place sugar and butter in it.
- Beat the two with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla and eggs to the sugar-butter mixture. Beat until blended.
- Add the oat mixture and beat again until well blended.
- Add the flour mixture as well.
- Take a baking pan. Coat it with cooking spray.
- Pour the mixture in the pan and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes.
- Cool it for 10 minutes. Then cut into squares.
Try the tips and the recipes given above and make your pre-schooler love mealtimes. Make it an activity that he would look forward to everyday, and not the one he would dread.