Strategies To Deal With Picky Eaters And End The Mealtime Battles For Good


If there’s anything we know about kids, it’s that they are completely unpredictable. Your baby may not have had any trouble with breastmilk or transitioning to solid food but then all of a sudden when they turn 5, they decide they hate everything they’ve ever tasted. Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater. One day they love the meal you’ve prepared and the next day they can’t stand it. They like only 2 vegetables but only if you cook them a certain way and God forbid you mess up! Sometimes, mealtime can be a nightmare when your child refuses to eat anything you make. Especially after you’ve taken the time to slave away in the kitchen after a long busy day. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are a few loopholes to ensure that your little one finally gets some food into their system. Want to know what they are? Read on to know them all!

1. Let Go Of The Labels

The worst thing you could do while trying to combat a problem your child has is to label it or their behavior. For example, if you go out to eat and all you talk about is how picky your child is or that they only eat a specific dish then they are not going to be encouraged to try anything new, even in a new environment. Alliterating to your child that they are picky will not help you solve the issue. In fact, it might just make it worse. Children own the labels that you give them and feel the need to fit in that mold, even if it isn’t a good one. So the only thing you’re doing by labeling their mealtime habits is giving them permission to continue this resistant behavior. But there is a way in which you could use this to your advantage, like using positive labels instead. When you tell your child that they are a good eater or someone who is not fussy, they take that in stride and start to try new foods when you suggest it. But try to avoid using labels as much as you can.

2. Take Control Of Your Pantry

It’s time to take control of your pantry and your child’s health. Sure, your kids might have to go to school and parties where they have some cake and some candy, but most kids eat meals from home the majority of the time. And this means that organizing a healthy and balanced pantry is all you need to help your kids eat nutritious meals. If they are eating too many cookies, toss them out. If they can’t control how many chocolates they crave, don’t keep any in the house. The point is to have healthier alternatives on hand so that they naturally take to foods they usually won’t consider eating. Once your child has a grip on their need for sugar you can start leaving a bar of chocolate in the pantry and see how they fair. Remember, you can’t control what your kids put in their mouths but you can control what options they have to choose from.

If your kids still won’t eat anything during dinner time then maybe snacking is to blame. Make sure you close the pantry and the fridge at least two hours before dinner time so that your kids work up an appetite for dinner. An early dinner is better than having no dinner at all.

3. Don’t Start A Fight At The Table

This may be hard to resist, especially when your child is pushing every single button you’ve got, but keeping your composure at the dining table is important. If you want to stop the ongoing power struggle around food then don’t fight over it. Your job as a parent is to cook healthy tasty meals for your kids. As long as you know that there is at least one healthy thing on their plate that they will eat, let it be. There’s no point in forcing your child to eat every bit of everything on their plate. As long as they understand that there are no other alternatives, they can take it or leave it. This may seem a little brutal but making your kids understand the value of food is a part of them getting over their picky eater phase.

4. Variety Makes Everything Better

Let your kids try everything. Mixing up your meal plan is the most effective technique when dealing with a picky eater. Try to pick out one day out of the week when you and your family experiment with different foods and dishes. Keep your kids on their toes instead of letting them assume that they always have sandwiches for lunch and salads for dinner. Remember, variety is the spice of life.

Having a picky eater on your hands can be hard to deal with but the important thing is to learn to enjoy food with your child. Teach them that it’s okay to experiment and have some dishes that they prefer over others, as long as they eat healthy balanced meals regularly.

Was this article helpful?The following two tabs change content below.Kezia holds a deep interest in writing about women adapting to motherhood and childcare. She writes on several topics that help women navigate the joys and responsibilities of being a new mom and celebrate every stage of their baby’s development. When she is not writing for MomJunction, she sings in a classical Western choir and reads endlessly.
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