Everyone must have experienced a picky eater in their lives at some point.
Picky eating is a habit that is usually witnessed in young children, but if you do not deal with it at an early stage, then it can develop into a permanent habit.
Picky Eating Is Not Alone…
With picky eating comes a number of different situations that may be hard to deal with. Eating is usually an activity that is associated with socializing, and hence happens around people, so you can only imagine how awkward things can get.
Be it a family gathering, or a trip to the restaurant, a picky eater will draw attention, and not the good kind of attention that you might want.
What Do We Mean By Picky Eaters?
The phrase picky eaters can be a little confusing to understand because of the different connotations. Picky eaters can actually mean a number of things, for example sometimes people who have certain food allergies or are on a diet can be called ‘picky eaters’, but that is not what we are referring to here.
Picky eating is an actual problem that is usually seen in children and adolescents. They will refuse to eat certain vegetables or meat or anything without any logical reason. The only explanation that picky eaters give is that they just can’t eat *insert any food item*.
Then there are other people who are too restricted and unwilling when it comes to experimenting with food. We can definitely think of a few people like that, who will order the same thing from a large menu or have the same breakfast daily.
But the reason that picky eating can be more than just an eating problem is that it is now being linked to social anxiety and depressive tendencies.
If you think your child’s picky eating is not the usual childlike behavior and is more severe, then you should seek medical help and treat it very seriously. But most likely your child is just a fussy eater because of other reasons that you don’t have to worry about. Even then though, you do need ways to figure out how to handle your child’s problem and make sure he gets a healthy diet with varied nutrients required by his/her body.
How To Work Around Picky Eaters?
If you are a parent and your child has the habit of picky eating, you have to make sure you don’t encourage it. If you submit to their illogical demands and offer them the exactly what they want, it will be extremely difficult for them to grow out of it.
What you can do is trying to associate good memories with food so as to condition your children to eat whatever you want them to do. It may sound a little tough but it really isn’t. if you put in the effort, you will have the results.
Create An Atmosphere
To make sure that dinner time goes smoothly, try creating a healthy atmosphere where everyone feels involved and positive.
You can do that by inviting everyone to discuss their day and talking about the good parts of your day. It will also give your child the comfort that you are present for them and so they will avoid attention seeking behavior such as picking eating.
Involve Your Child
Sometimes all it takes is for your child to feel involved in the small decisions about his/her life. So an easy way to make that happen is by giving them a say in planning their meals.
If you are an organized person you probably have the week’s dinners planned beforehand. Get your children, to have a say and give their input regarding the weekly meals that you plan, so when they eat they know that they decided this and it isn’t being forced on them.
Make Sure They Give It A Try
The thing with picky eaters is that they will decline a dish without even giving it a chance, and it is your job to change that. It might involve a little forcing, but you have to get your child to take a taste of what they are declining to eat.
You can make it easy by offering an incentive, or promising that you won’t force them to eat it if they don’t like it. If you keep your promise a few times, chances are the child will start eating if he/she likes the dish or meal at hand.
Don’t Come Off As Forceful
This is something you have to be extra careful about, to not make your kid feel like they don’t have a choice and that they are being forced. Rather you have to be extremely patient and give them all the time that they require to come out of the bad habit.
Go through this journey with them, be patient and be calm when things do not go as planned, eventually, it will work out and your child will get rid of their picky eating problem.
Highlight The Veggies
In order to trick your child into eating the vegetables, don’t serve them as a side; instead, serve them as the main.
Substitute your meat or protein for vegetables in any dish, especially if it will be hidden, for example in a pot pie. Use vegetables instead of chicken and your child will definitely eat them. Slowly but surely your child will develop a taste for vegetables and you won’t have to trick him/her into eating them.
Keep Changing Things
Try different things to make, different proteins, different cuisines etc. Just make sure to keep changing things up so that your child gets used to the different variety of flavors that exist.
If you do this, you will have zero trouble in trying to avoid embarrassing situations in restaurants and other public eating venues.
Trying new recipes can be a little bit of a struggle for a parent as well since you have to research and come up with new ideas, but what if we know something that can make it easier for you?
Elizabeth Pantley’s The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution is a new book that just hit the markets, and it is your complete guide as far as picky eaters are concerned. The book is like a bible for children who are picky eaters.
Pantley’s book does not just contain amazing recipes to try for picky eaters, but the picky eater’s cookbook also tells you exactly how you manage children suffering from picky eating.
Having this book in your kitchen is like having a partner to help guide you through all the tough times when your kid refuses to listen to you.
So all in all just keep a few things in mind for the basic mental and physical health of your child and tackle any issues at a very young age to avoid them from developing as your child grows older.
And a cookbook with so many different recipes can always be handy, picky eaters or no picky eaters.
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