Do you have picky eaters? Is your child refusing to eat anything other than snacks? If children’s nutrition is a nightmare in your house, you are not alone. Numerous parents are concerned about what their toddlers eat and don’t eat.
Toddlers are active, busy, and curious, and that’s why it is challenging for them to relax and take a meal. Because there is limited growth in toddler years, they tend to get picky about what to eat.
Don’t panic if you have a picky eater child. It’s common at their age, and the behavior will slowly fade away. However, it would help if you employed some strategies to ensure picky kids don’t grow to picky adults. Additionally, it is imperative to ensure that your picky eater gets the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.
Here are ways to provide better nutrition to picky eaters:
1. Make Food Fun
When you have a picky eater, mealtimes are always a struggle. Those struggles can traumatize your kid and worsen their eating habits. Ditch the authoritative mindset for fun and see the magic happen.
Cut fruits and veggies into enticing shapes and serve food in kids’ colorful bowls. Besides, have food preparation contests with your kids, such as grinding carrots to make eating a fun affair. You can also sing kids’ songs or tell stories during mealtime. When you make snacks and mealtime joyful, it will foster healthier attitudes towards food.
2. Include Tasty Smoothies
One of the smart ways to sneak nutrients into kids’ food is through smoothies. Look for good recipes that will allow you to include vegetables and other essential nutrients into smoothies without compromising taste. Adding spinach and ground carrots in smoothies is a secret way of sneaking salad into a child’s diet.
Vegetables not only provide minerals and vitamins but also add a pleasant color to smoothies making them more alluring to toddlers. Another advantage is that smoothies are portable; thus, parents’ can take them on their adventure.
Also, it is wise to escort the smoothies with kids’ essential oils. The list of essential oils for kids includes lavender, chamomile, basil, and peppermint. These and other options are concentrated into liquid form, making them easy to mix into your child’s favorite drinks.
3. Serve Finger Foods
Pediatricians tell parents to feed toddlers foods they can pick with their fingers. If you pay keen attention to your little angel, you will notice they like dip-ready finger foods. Breaded chicken strips are the go-to option, but there are many other finger food recipes to choose from, including meatless options.
Your kid might also love dessert hummus, which is from flavored cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa, and chicken peas. The dessert hummus has proteins and fiber, but it has a sweet taste making it a healthy treat.
4. Scrimp on The Sugar
According to a recent study, kids are taking a lot of added sugar more than they should. High sugar intake in children does not only pose health risks but also influences their food preferences. If you continue feeding your kid with sugary foods, it might strengthen their picky eating habits.
High sugar intake has several adverse effects, such as increased weight gain, risk of developing type 2 diabetes, among other chronic diseases. Parents should avoid feeding their kids with overly sweetened drinks and beverages. Instead, they should give them naturally sweet fruits that are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
Be patient with your picky eater child and apply each tip a day at a time. Please encourage them to eat and always make fun of food to help them develop a positive attitude towards food.
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