Many parents all over the country deal with picky eaters. For lots of children, it is just part of their growth process, and they eventually grow out of it. However, for the time that young children are going through that picky eater phase it can be extremely frustrating for parents. For some parents, it can be confusing as to why all of a sudden their child seems to have lost their appetite. Parents often grow more and more frustrated, but do not panic! Heritage Learning Center in McKinney, TX is here to help you figure out the best way to help your picky eater!
Why are some children picky eaters?
During the toddler stage, children are constantly growing. Because of this rapid growth phase, they have to eat A LOT in order to make sure their body has the energy it needs. However, after that period their growth rate tends to slow down and along with it, their appetites. During this time, children also start developing their food preferences. This can make things more frustrating because while adults’ preferences stay the same for the most part, young children’s are constantly changing. They might love a particular food this week, and next week they do not even want to touch it. While this will typically balance out for some kids, pickiness can stay around for others.
Tips for dealing with pickiness
No matter who you talk to, you will get a bunch of different strategies and answers as to how to help your kids become less picky. Here are some tips and tricks to help get through this process
One way to help get your child accustomed to trying new foods is by offering them something new every day. Not only does this help expand their appetites, but this also gets them used to trying new things consistently.
Start out small
This one is pretty obvious. If you put an entire plate of food in front of your child that they do not like, you will not see results. However, by starting with a single piece of food they do not like, it is easier to convince them to give it a try.
Make the food fun
Toddlers already really enjoy finger foods so that is one easy way for parents to make food more appealing to picky eaters. Another great way to make trying new foods fun is to arrange them into colorful shapes and patterns on the plate! This helps show your child that trying new things can be fun.
Eat as a family
Eating as a family with few distractions is a great way for parents to model healthy eating habits for their children. Children like to mirror older people, so by serving only one meal for the entire family they will be encouraged to eat what you are eating. However, it is important that you resist the urge to get them something else to eat if they do not want what you are eating. This encourages picky eating.
This last tip is using what is known by nutritionists as “food bridges”. A Food bridge is using the qualities (color, flavor, texture) of foods that your child already likes to expand their taste to other foods with similar qualities. An example of this is if your child likes green beans, it will be relatively easy to get them to try snow peas, or broccoli.
At Heritage Learning center we offer award-winning McKinney, TX preschool programs that are unlike anything else in the area. Our goal is to help children grow and become well prepared for elementary school. For more information on our programs, or to schedule a tour, please contact us TODAY!