Mealtimes should be fun to relax and spend quality time with your littles..right? This is not so true however if you have a fussy eater. You could end up dealing with a tantrum or a hungry baby who refused to eat and is now in a not so pleasant mood. I have five tips to share with you to try the next time dinner becomes a battle of the wills!! Every child is different so one may work and another may not. This combination of tricks has helped us through battles with our finicky eater.
1. Toddlers have a drive to be independent and figure the world out for themselves. So make them feel like they are doing something independently by giving them a choice. This works great at snack time, I give my son 2 choices and he gets so excited that he gets to choose on his own foods and beverages.
2. This is a hard one for me, but as long as your child is healthy and gaining weight it is ok if they miss a meal. Again run this one by your pediatrician. But my doctor has reassured me this will not hurt my child as long as he is still meeting other milestones like height and weight gain.
3. If you know your baby is really hungry, maybe they didn’t eat much at lunch this is a great time to introduce something different but similar. If it’s completely different they will not be as willing to try. But if you child loves cooked carrots for example try cooking them butternut squash or sweet potatoes. They may only try it but that’s progress. It can take up to 15 times of introducing new foods before they accept and like what they are eating.
4. Be patient. It can be so hard when your trying to please your child and make sure they are getting all the nutrition that is required. It can be extremely frustrating for us moms but we have to be an example to our kiddos. Which means patience, persistence, and don’t forget praise them when they try something new.
5. Last, try to include them in the meal prep or making dinner. Give them a simple task to do. Jackson enjoys sprinkling parsley in my dishes and pouring water in whenever it’s needed, even if it’s just to boil pasta. Let them stir something or assemble a tasty wrap/sandwich for dinner. Make food fun.
Remember tastes change with time. So don’t force your littles, make this a fun and interesting part of their daily routine. And know that this is only a phase and your kiddo will have a sophisticated palate in no time!!!!