As every parent knows, it's important to minimise stress and frustration around food, as the dinner table is not a good place to introduce power struggles.
Here are a few handy tips and hints when dealing with your picky little eaters.
- Stick to a routine and avoid snacking between meals. Make sure snacks are structured if you are giving them to your child, they should not be meals in themselves. Keep them healthy and low in added sugar.
- Watch out for fruit juices, they are filling and bad for teeth.
- Don't give up too quickly, sometimes children need to be exposed to food repeatedly before they are inclined to eat it.
- Have your child help you pick food and prepare it at home. Involve them in the process.
- Do not have foods in your kitchen that you do not want your child to eat.
- Set a good example, don't expect your child to eat something you wouldn't eat yourself.
- Make sure that all adults in the household have a positive attitude to food. The greater the variety of healthy foods adults eat, the better it is for your child.
- Turn off any distracting gadgets such as TV, games or tablets during mealtimes. Bear in mind that a lot of TV advertising encourages children to eat less healthy food.
- Do not offer dessert as a reward for eating, dessert should be a treat on certain days independently of how your child eats. Bear in mind that sugared treats should be limited and structured.
- And most of all .....be patient, it may take time!