Mealtimes are often trying at the best of times, but if you are the parent of the fussy eater the dinner table can seem like a battlefield. From bargaining to removing the meal completely, it may feel as though it is easier to serve the same meal every night to avoid any confrontation. Here at Daisy Baby we understand the frustration that is involved with dealing with fussy eaters and the worry that they aren't getting the nutrients that are vital to their development. Luckily we have developed 3 great tips for fussy eaters to get your little one on the road to a clean plate and an appetite for trying new things.
1) Pay Attention To Presentation
One of the most vital tips for fussy eaters is to make the whole experience entertaining. If your child knows that the mealtime isn't going to be pleasant, then they can get worked up even before they have seen what they have for dinner. One of the best ways to tackle this issue is to let them have their own special plate of which they can easily see what they are eating and take their mind off the taste of food. These Happy Face Plates are perfect for this task as you can decorate the face with your child's meal and get them to name the food that is acting as a feature, such as carrots for hair and spaghetti as a beard. Soon they will learn to associate mealtimes with fun and be eager to try new things.
2) Don't Overwhelm
If your child is strict about the types of food that they will allow on their plate, then try and introduce new foods slowly. If they like milk, then blend it with some fruit to help them experience new flavours before delving into different textures. By giving the issue time, you won't overwhelm your child's palette. One of the best tips for fussy eaters is to not worry, no child likes every single food, if they say that they don't like something, leave it out and introduce it again at another time. Constantly filling their plate with food they don't like can make every mealtime a battle, giving them time will help improve your relationship.
3) Keep Praising
Food refusal is a popular tactic used by many small children to gain attention, even if it is negative. It is therefore important to not offer any bribes e.g. a reward of sweets after eating vegetables, and instead simply tell them what they need to eat and carry on with your meal. After you have given this request it is also important to ignore any fuss that they are making and engage in conversation either with whoever else is at the table or talk about your day. Once they see that they have to finish and that you are having fun, they will want to join in. Remember even if they only have a few vegetables within 30 minutes of sitting at the table, this needs to be rewarded. Don't let them sit there for ages until they have finished as they will simply switch off. Young children always respond better to positive reinforcement rather than negative.
And there you have it, 3 simple tips that will help your little fussy eater get well on the way to a clean plate.Do you have any other tips for fussy eaters that you would like to share. Let us know by messaging us on our Google+ or Facebook pages or Tweet us @daisybabyshop.