Tips and Tricks To Cope With A Fussy Eater!
It's not unusual for most children to experience a fussy eating phase. In fact, 90% of children go through this phase. So have no fear, you are not alone! Some days they may love everything you put in front of them and finish it all with no mess and zero hassle. Other days may prove to be more challenging. I know it can seem defeating when your little fusses through meals or refuses them altogether. Today, I thought I'd give you a few tricks that might help with this process.
Hiding Your Frustration: This is ALWAYS so much easier said than done. Children can sense frustrated or anxious energy and this may only prolong the fussing. Sometimes the bad behavior may need to be overlooked and the good behavior overpraised to get over the hurdle. The praise may help distract your little from their own fussing.
Reward Rather Than Bribe: Often when you are trying to get through the meal, bribery seems like the best choice to get to the end result faster. Try swapping out bribery with reward. Maybe create a sticker chart with your little and every time they eat something new or get through a meal with zero fussing, they get a sticker. After a certain number of stickers, they will get a prize. This may encourage your little along!
Cook Together: I think we all can agree that when you work hard preparing a meal, it feels that much more rewarding to eat it. Allowing your little to help with easy tasks in the kitchen, while cooking, will teach them this method at an early age.
Handy Healthy Snacks: Having healthy snacks on hand is key is getting your little to appreciate nutritious and new choices. Easy access to them is also super helpful. Maybe try having a low shelf in the fridge with healthy options, that is easily accessible for them, when they get hungry. Then this process feels more like they are making the choice.
Aesthetically Pleasing Plates: This may seem like a stretch if you have a busy schedule but making food not only taste good, but look fun may help your little be more intrigued by their plate. When I was growing up, my Dad would plate my food like we were at a restaurant, so it seemed "special". He never forgot the complimentary mustard smiley face in my ketchup...:)
Learn About Foods: What better way to make eating more exciting than to learn about where the food came from? There are so many great television resources and books that have examples of fussy eaters and how they overcome it. Or come check out our special snack time or farm Friday classes where myself, Miss Sophie, and Miss Hannah will sing about healthy foods, the process of how they are made, and how eating can not only be yummy but fun too!
Eating Together: Children not only love to learn but they also see you do something and they want to copy you. So, if you're enjoying your food and creating positive conversation around the table, your little might just mimic your behavior!
Hidden Veggies: If you're having trouble getting your little to eat veggies, there are some great ways to sneak them in without knowing. You can hide veggies in smoothies, juices, sauces, etc.
Fussy eating won't be forever but I hope these tips and tricks prove to be helpful! As always, we at Martial Arts Family Studio, are always here for support, encouragement, and love. You're doing amazing!
Warm Wishes For Full Bellies and No Fussing