Tips for Kids Who Are Picky Eaters
If you’re a parent, one of the most significant responsibilities is ensuring that your children maintain a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition promotes bone and muscle development, boosts the immune system, lowers the risk of long-term health problems and aids the digestive system, among other things.
For these reasons, having a child who is a picky eater can put you in quite a predicament. How can you ensure they have a well-rounded diet that consists of proteins, dairy, grains, fruits and vegetables when they tend to dislike virtually any plate of food placed in front of them?
We’re to help you find the right solutions to encouraging your child to overcome these picky eating habits. This article covers our top tips for tackling picky eating. These insights may benefit both you and your young one.
Why Are Kids Fussy Eaters?
Before seeking out ways to help break these picky habits in children, it’s important to understand why they might be having these reactions to certain foods. Many factors can influence pickiness in kids, including the following:
Some children have natural sensitivities to certain tastes, textures and smells. This sensitivity can cause them to feel uncomfortable or tense when eating specific foods or foods prepared in a particular way.
Rewarding Picky Eating Behaviors
Picky eating habits develop at a very young age, and parent influence often plays a role in this development. When parents bribe, reward or encourage fussy eating behaviors, children are more likely to develop picky eating habits over time. Be sure to set firm and reasonable ground rules, and try not to reward picky behavior – serve as a role model when it comes to developing your child’s eating habits.
While pickiness is a problem on its own, sometimes it can stem from one that is a little more complex. A study found that children who struggled with controlling their emotions were more likely to be picky eaters. If you start to identify behavioral problems in addition to your child’s picky eating habits, consult with your child’s doctor.
How to Help Picky Eaters
You can help your child start to overcome even the pickiest eating behaviors. Try these tips with your child and see if any of them work for you.
Create Positive Mealtime Associations
You can help your child form a positive attitude about food and meals in several ways. Try some of the following methods:
- Make mealtime fun and creative: Cut sandwiches or other foods into fun shapes, use colorful plates and utensils, and try coming up with clever food names.
- Plan and prepare meals with your child: Involving your child in this process can make it a more fun and enjoyable experience for them. Look at new recipes and shop for ingredients together.
- Eat meals as a family: By eating and spending time together as a family, your child can create warm, positive associations with mealtime. Encourage lighthearted, humorous conversation at the dinner table by sharing funny stories and jokes with each other.
Try to Eliminate Distractions
Reinforce the idea that mealtimes are for spending time with family, not for playing with toys or electronics. Before sitting down to each meal, clear the room of any distractions that could prevent your child from eating, such as television, a computer, toys or games. Additionally, if you serve your child a snack during the day, try not to create a habit of letting them snack in front of the TV.
Try Not to Force Food
While encouraging your child to try new foods is important, you should never force your child to eat every last bite on their plate. Doing so will only lead to them creating negative associations with food and mealtime. To help ensure your child comes to the table hungry and willing to eat, you also need to take care not to let them fill up on snacks all day — serve snacks in moderation so they are not full by dinnertime.
Demonstrate Healthy Eating Habits
You are your child’s role model. To help them develop healthier eating habits, you must model the behavior you want to see. If they see you and other family members enjoying healthy foods at the table, they are more likely to try these foods as well.
Kid-Friendly Meals for Fussy Eaters
If you’re looking for healthy, delicious meal options that even your pickiest little one is certain to enjoy, try these children’s recipes for fussy eaters. These ideas may even provide you with some inspiration for your next meal!
Avocado toast is both easy to make and serves as a healthy addition to any meal! We recommend using fresh bread, ripe avocadoes and tasty toppings such as sausage, tomatoes or eggs. Try pairing the toast with a side of fresh fruit! If your child has never experienced the taste of avocado, this could be a new opportunity to try out a new breakfast. They may end up loving it for years to come – give it a try!
Mini Pineapple Sausage Pizzas
Pineapple on pizza has been a controversial topic and ongoing debate for years, but if your family enjoys pineapple on pizza, you’re sure to love these delightful mini pineapple sausage pizzas. Grab some sweet Italian sausage, fresh pineapple slices and cheese and give this recipe a go. Your child can help make these with you as well!
Mini Sausage Bread
What’s dinner without rolls? These rolls, however, add a fun little twist. You can stuff them with savory sausage and cheese to create an irresistible blend of flavors that both you and your child will love. This mini sausage bread serves as a great side to your main course or is delicious enough to eat on its own as a hearty snack.
Purchase Premio Sausage Near You
Feeding your fussy eater can be a challenge. If you’re searching for healthy, delicious food options for your family to enjoy, check out Premio Foods. We offer over 40 varieties of sausage, including chicken sausage with 60% less fat than beef or pork sausage.
Our family-owned business has tirelessly crafted fine Italian sausage for over 40 years, using a blend of fresh seasoning, spices and meats to cater to any taste or occasion. With our unique selection of both traditional Italian favorites and ethnic varieties, you’re sure to find something to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Find a store near you today!