Introducing semi-solids when the baby turns 6 months of age is a time of celebration of families across the world. This is because it marks a new beginning in a baby’s life, given that he is all set to start and gorge on all the good things officially as well as formally. After this comes the stage of introducing solids. The stage of introducing solids into your kid’s (especially toddlers) diet can be quite a tricky process. Every parent of a toddler understands what ‘toddler tantrums’ are made of. I can feel you and so I thought to share a few tips for parents of picky eaters (fussy-toddlers).
While some parents are lucky that their toddler has hopped onto normal meals quite easily, it is not the same story in every household. It is a bit tricky because not all toddlers or preschoolers accept food willfully. Fussy toddlers and picky eaters generally get onto the patience of their parents, because parents get worried that their kids are not getting the right amount of nutrition due to such habits. Children’s nutrition is a nightmare that continues to haunt many parents worldwide to date.
Overcoming toddler tantrums and tips for parents of picky eaters:
1. Keep your calm
When you introduce something new in the meal to your kid, it not strange that he might as well not gulp it down in one go. Because it’s a new item on the dinner plate, the kid will take some time to adjust to it. Even if a quarter of what you have introduced is readily accepted, it’s half the battle won. So, it is very important to be calm and not make a huge deal out of the whole thing if a portion of the meal is left on the plate.
2. Observe your child’s appetite
Always watch out for your child’s appetite. Record the timings in the day when you are sitting for your daily meals. There should be a proper gap between different meals. Also, be mindful of the fact that kids like to eat throughout the day between the meals. Do not let children nibble throughout the day. Always offer a small portion to your kid. Do not force anything on the kid, as this will only deteriorate the situation and the kid might just become averse to meal-times.
3. Be creative
This is a very old and tested trick. Many mothers around the world swear by this technique. Put your creative hats on and make the food your color and the plate your canvas and get rolling. You can use cutters of different shapes to make roti, chappatis or pancakes more visually appealing. Try introducing different colors on the food plate.
4. No rewarding by offering cakes or other such sweet savories
Many parents convince kids to eat food by bribing them with sweets after their meals are over. This might work temporarily but will harm eventually. By doing this you are not solving eating problems rather giving birth to many more. Rewards can be of other types, such as taking the kid to the nearby park after their meals are over or playing their favorite game along with the meal.
5. Set a good example
A kid’s biggest teachers are the parents themselves. Your kid would not eat carrots or beans if they saw noodles or other fast foods on your meal plates. Sit together with your child and eat along. Parents who themselves follow the healthy meal norm are less likely to encounter kids who are fussy on the dining table.
6. Make the entire process of mealtime an enjoyable experience
This starts right from the beginning. You can take your kids to the nearby grocery shop and ask her to choose the veggies which she would like to have for dinner. Engage her while you are washing and chopping the veggies. All these activities will certainly make mealtime a social time and the kids will have their meals properly.
by Udita Saklani
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