Trying to feed kids can get TRICKY ! They’re often picky and confrontational so it’s easy to find yourself in a power struggle with your toddler or little chicken (what I call children) any time food is involved. Because of this, you may worry that your child will get malnutritioned or even worst, never stop screaming. We totally understand and your feelings are valid. So we’re going to lay some knowledge on you to make you feel better about the situation.
Meal Prep With Kids
One of the best ways to encourage your children to eat a better variety of foods is to let them help you prepare the meal. When kids help cook, they have a better understanding of what’s in so they aren’t as afraid to try it. Depending on their age you can even let them handle only the simplest tasks like helping wash off produce. Children also love mixing things, they’d be delighted to help with that. Just don’t let yourself get frustrated or overwhelmed when (not if) they make a mess.
Also, to make foods more palatable for them, because remember children have different taste buds than us, modify the recipe. Offer a miniature version of what you’re making such as folding bread in half instead of offering two pieces for a fancy sandwich. Kids often aren’t a huge fan of anything savory so consider sweetening up the meal naturally. Salsa for example, let them help you add mango to it !
Time To Eat
Children need structure. We hear that all the time. Meal time is included. We want to inspire our children to have a healthy relationship with food. I’ve been binge-watching My 600 Pound Life lately and let me tell ya, most of them stated that their issues with food started before age 10. Evenly spacing out meals throughout the day helps children avoid ravenous hunger as well as overeating.
Additionally, children are much more likely to try new foods and eat their meals if they’re saving their hunger for meal times instead of snacking throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to set rules. Telling kids that they can’t eat a snack after dinner or that they must eat part of their dinner before leaving the table will not traumatize them or hurt them in anyway. Children don’t know what’s best for them so giving into their requests simply because they want it really does them a disservice in the long run.
Don’t Give Up
Whatever you do just don’t give up on the marriage that is them and food ! It takes several introductions to a food before a child tries it sometimes. Also, on average, children don’t eat better or ‘normal’ for lack of a better term until around age 10.
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