Raising a child is very challenging; well, nobody said parenting was easy. Amongst the numerous challenges surround children, their upbringing, their health is the big task of making sure they eat well.
With the increased trend of fast food, many children fall into habit of these foods that offer little nutrition, and also promote the chances of childhood obesity.
It may be possible for parents to counter this by at-home healthier alternatives, but it is the picky eater child that poses the greatest challenge to the sanity of the parents, and health of the child.
Some picky eaters will only eat certain foods, whereas others will make a problem at every meal occasion. Since children’s growth and development is contingent on the diet they eat, lack of adequate nutrition then leads to the problem with growth and development, that then has the parents rushing to the Best Child specialist in Lahore.
Dealing with picky eaters
Picky eaters may be difficult to deal with but feeding them is not an impossible task. Following are some helpful tips to deal with this phenomenon:
Do not force
If you force a child, they have greater tendency to become more rebellious and petulant about it. Therefore, do not force food on the child but make the mealtime fun.
One way to convince the child to eat it by keeping the experience gentle. Give them a chance to refuse food, on the condition that they try the food first. This will help them get over their reservations about food.
Be a good role model
Kids pick up on the attitude of the parents, therefore, you need to be good role model for your children.
According to research, children are more likely to eat vegetables if they see their parents eating them.
Do not reward with food
Many parents coax their children into eating by the promise of some unhealthy food later, like a candy or burger. While the desperation of the parent is understandable, however, this approach is not a healthy one, to say the least.
Children end up consuming more calories than necessary, as they gorge the ‘healthy food’ for the unhealthy reward later. It also perpetuates unhealthy concept of reward system later as well.
Instead, keep to verbal praises and rewards otherwise like stationary items, playtime etc. to encourage children into eating food.
Involve them in meal making process
Involve your children in the meal planning process, so that they feel heard. It also then makes them feel responsible for the meal, and then compelled to eat it.
Moreover, also ask them to help around in the kitchen. Take them to the grocery run. This will help them in having a more positive association with food. When children have fun preparing the food, they are more likely to eat it as well.
Offer the entire family same meal
You have to be firm with the picky eaters. They many a times make demands for special meals, however, that serves to edify their attitude. Thus, serve the same food on the table, and encourage your child otherwise to eat the food. Attract them with flavors, the colors on the plate and the delicious smells wafting from the food.
Check if its food intolerance
Picky eating may be due not to some food intolerance or allergy. Since they lead to pain, discomfort etc. in the body, thus, it may deter the child from eating altogether.
Gluten and lactose intolerance are more common amongst people, so make sure to check your child’s condition after they had carbs and milk.
Moreover, allergies manifest in the form of rashes, itching, swelling etc. on the skin. If you observe these signs, you should consult Best Child specialist in Islamabad to rule out these problems.