Seven Ways to Get your Fussy Eater to Become a Foodie
- When mealtimes are pleasant and fun, distractions like television and toys become unnecessary.
- Mealtimes must, as much as possible, be family time. Children often observe food patterns of their parents. It is in the best interest of family mealtimes for all family members to make healthy food choices instead of less nutritious ones.
- It’s best to allow children to feel hungry instead of chasing them around the house to eat. Allow food to be associated with sitting at a dining table or a designated area. You can instead encourage them to have their meals and snacks only at the dining table or a designated area. This habit will go a long way when developed right from when they can sit to eat.
- Children should be left to eat their food by themselves. It may be messy initially, but will definitely pay off in the long term as your child will learn to be independent.
- Sometimes sharing a table with other children may promote a child to try new foods or even accept ones that were disliked in the past. Encourage food tasting where you organize a social food experience for your child and their close friends.
- Timing the food is very important. A healthy pace must be set for children to enjoy their meals --not too slow that they can display antics, and not too fast that they begin choking on their food. A reasonable time would be 20 to 30 minutes for meals and 10 to 15 minutes for snacks, after which the table should be cleared of all food. Let children know what food is being offered and allow them to choose. Let them enjoy the meal at their own pace. Do not force them to eat in a hurry.
- Food in several shapes and colors attractively displayed makes it easier for the child to choose healthy food. Small portions of food in an attractively shaped plate will be a sure winner.