Do you have trouble getting your child to try new foods or finish their usual meals? Do they have strong food preferences? Then you can agree that eating time is one of the most frustrating times when you have a fussy eater. This problem cannot be ignored since failure to eat deprives a child’s body of proper nutrition, which is essential for growth and development.
Besides enrolling them in a facility that provides the best childcare in Macquarie Park, there are several ways through which you can handle a fussy eater. To help you address this, we borrow lessons from our experience as childcare providers and combine them with tips from seasoned parents and child behaviour specialists
Make Eating Time Fun
Creating fun during feeding times reduces the anxiety that fussy eaters associate with food. By engaging their mind in something else they like, they stop overthinking about food and actually start looking forward to the fun related to feeding.
Activities like stories, asking them about things they love and presenting food in ways they find interesting can make eating time fun.
Offer Friendly Competition
You may have realised that your child feeds better when in the company of friends, especially during their playdates. Human beings are naturally competitive and will want to look good when doing tasks and other activities such as feeding.
For children, they will not want to be the last to clear their plates amongst their mates. To experience how this technique works, visit a good centre that provides childcare in Macquarie Park and watch the outcome when children are fed together.
Schedule Meal Times
If you schedule specific times for feeding, your child will be hungry when mealtimes approach. The more hungry they get, the less fussy they are. They are likely to finish all their meals.
Being inconsistent on the other hand confuses their stomach and they won’t be looking forward to digging in when you finally serve their meal. Work with your childcare provider in Macquarie Park to have the same schedules so that this is well maintained even during weekends.
Serve The Right Portions
Many parents, especially first-timers, make the mistake of serving too much food in the hope of giving enough nutrition. Others serve the food their children ask for over and over, forgetting or unaware that the quantity of food kids are given should be based on their age.
Both practices are not only bad for nutrition but also capable of disorienting your child, making them liken feeding to a huge task. Only serve small portions that have all the necessary nutrients.
Invest In Food Presentation
Don’t we all love it when restaurants present our meal on the table in a nice way? Well, children are not any different.
Apart from pairing new food with familiar ones, serving food in a way that cheers your child changes their perception. Consider presenting it in shapes, colours and partitions that they are more likely to love.
For example, instead of dropping a block sandwich, try cutting it into a star and placing raisins as its eyes. Before you know it, your child will be finishing off the whole meal.
Bear in mind that children are easily fascinated by cartoon characters or colourful shapes they can identify. You can visit a good centre that provides childcare in Macquarie Park to witness how they do it.
Compliment A Fussy Child
When you reward children for doing good, they are motivated to do better next time. The same applies when a fussy eater gets that candy they have been asking for after finishing a meal.
Compliments do not really have to be tangible. You can offer to read them their favourite bedtime story even if you have done so a thousand other times.
Giving a reward to a fussy eater makes them aware of how much it pleases you to see them finish the last bit on their plate.
Warm Up To The Mess
We have witnessed cases where poor feeding was due to the fear of messing up. Some children will be reluctant to enjoy food if they keep making spills or soiling their clothes.
When you wipe their table or cheeks every time they take a bite or drop crumbs, they fear that they are making a mess and so will not warm up to the idea of eating. To encourage them, let the mess stay until they are done.
Engage Them In Preparation
A good number of parents have been able to change their children’s attitude about certain foods by engaging them in food buying and preparation.
Many report that it helped their kids stop seeing food as a mystery that just appears on their table. Once they understand the process of getting it ready, their attitude changes.
It is possible for your child to suddenly warm up to vegetables after helping you select them at the market and turn it into a meal.
There are many other ways through which you can get a fussy eater to warm up to their food. The above tips will give you a good head start. If you do them right, you will not only give your child the nutrition they want but also make them adapt faster when they join childcare (if they haven’t). For those with children who attend daycare, make sure they are getting the best Childcare in Macquarie Park. In centres that provide it, they use many other ways to help fussy eaters embrace normal feeding.