Last Updated on July 29, 2016 by Corinne Schmitt
Every parent wants their kids to eat well. You probably put considerable effort into cultivating a diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and protein, but nothing is more difficult than getting a picky eater on board with your plans. A child who doesn’t want to eat the food in front of them is frustrating, and finding foods that they will eat is a challenge. A supermom never gives up, though, and is always ready to rise to the occasion. With a few tricks, you can take control of the situation and make your picky eater a healthy and hungry kid. Parenting a picky eater can be an opportunity to take on a family diet makeover. Taking the time to understand the reasoning behind your child’s eating habits can turn a challenge into a chance to grow and improve. Even when it seems like there’s no reasoning at all, a mindful approach will help you make the best of a tricky situation.
Get to the Root
There are a myriad of reasons your child may reject the foods you try to feed them. Some scientists have hypothesized that kids shy away from foods their parents like, and it’s been established that most children simply fear new experiences. Talking to your kid about their feelings and their reasoning can help you understand the root of the issue, and it can help them understand why new foods can be fun. The first step to any resolution is initiating a discussion, so don’t be afraid to sit down and have a talk about the importance of a healthy diet.
Deal With Potential Sensitivities
You may discover that a food sensitivity is to blame for your child’s picky eating habits. If a food irritates their stomach or makes them feel sick, the response may be to simply shun the food and others like it. It’s common, in fact, for kids to develop strange eating patterns in response to ingredients that act as irritants. Consider whether this could be factor in the issue. Several food tech upstarts, such as hamptoncreek, have responded to this epidemic with a new wave of products designed to eliminate additives and GMOs and replace them with simple, healthy ingredients.
Get Back to Basics
Getting back to basics and eliminating irritating ingredients from your kid’s diet is the next step in resolving picky eating. With as much of the food we eat being processed and treated with a host of additives, it can be difficult to identify all of the offending items and eradicate them from the family diet. It’s better to approach this step of the process gradually, by weeding out the foods that are obviously unhealthy and replacing them with simple, natural alternatives. As you do this, keep track of your kid’s eating and whether they become open to new foods.
Find Foods They Love
Even after you’ve phased out problematic foods and ingredients, it can be difficult to get a picky eater to try new foods. They need to know that whatever they’re eating is safe and appealing, so finding products that fit the bill is your next task. Companies such as hamptoncreek have accepted the challenge and rolled out products that are natural, free from additives and completely kid-friendly. Introducing your child to foods like these can eliminate their fear and create a positive experience out of eating new foods. You’re well on your way to breaking down those picky eating habits!
Meet in the Middle
Perhaps the greatest gesture you can make in the picky eating wars is extending an olive branch. Not literally, since your child probably doesn’t like olives, but metaphorically as a way to meet in the middle. When your kid rejects foods and refuses to eat meals, there are a lot of things going on, but you can resolve the situation by taking the time to understand your kid’s perspective and giving them the opportunity to understand yours. Therein lies the key to overcoming picky eating and resolving nearly any other conflict you may encounter. Compromise may be your best weapon. So, while you’re negotiating a peace treaty, take this as an opportunity to improve your family’s diet and make positive changes. Clean eating can revolutionize your life, and perhaps picky eating was just a wakeup call.