How to deal with children who are fussy eaters
One can experience great frustration when kids are fussy eaters. How good you cook or whatever variety you serve, such fussy eaters have a habit of complaining about the food and eat with lots of fussiness. Dealing with children who are fussy eaters and making them eat is not an easy task. It may be hard for a parent to handle. The task of making the fussy eaters eat can be really stressful and mothers especially get really frustrated when, even after putting so many efforts their kids refuse to eat.
Research shows that most of the kids today are fussy eaters, right from the age of 3 to 15. Toddlers, school going children or even pre-schoolers can be fussy eaters. It gets very difficult for parents to handle such fussy eaters and make them feed; leave alone the right food. Fussy eaters always have an issue of eating right food, like vegetables, fruits, juices etc. Fussy eaters are more into eating junks, crisps and unhealthy snacks other than the right eating. This disheartens the parents who try to cook good and healthy stuff for their kids and their kids refuse eating them. In such cases, parents really worry about their child's health and seek advice from medical experts about how to help their children to eat the right food. But in such cases, the parents first need to know about the right way of dealing with such fussy eaters.
Problems parents face due to children who are fussy eaters
Here are few problems that parents may face due to children who are fussy eaters:
- Fussy eating habits of children get nasty sometimes when we have guests in our house. Constant fussing from kids may be embarrassing when you have guests in the house.
- Same situation may arise when you plan family dinners. In the same manner, a good family dinner may ruin its charm due to a fussy child.
- Problem may also arise when a family travels out station for holidays or other activities. If this family includes a fussy child then the parents are really going to face a lot of trouble outdoors. Such situations also spoil the picnics and parents are left disheartening.
Hence one needs to learn how to deal with such fussy eaters. Lets learn some ways in which parents may learn to deal with children who are fussy eaters.
Not all the children in same family are fussy eaters
Not all children in the same family are fussy eaters. This may vary. One can find, that in a family where there is more than one kid, all may not be fussy eaters. For example, in a family if there are two kids, then it's possible that the eldest son may be very good with eating fruits, vegetables and other foods without making a fuss about it. But on the other hand, the younger son may just not find any of these foods comforting for himself and may fuss about it. He would refuse to eat anything that is been cooked in the house and would demand for things which are not right for his health. He would have a habit of complaining on every food that is been present on the table. Such kid may find a fruit over-ripe or too raw, too green or too red, very spicy or too bland etc etc.
Don't create any fuss about fussy eaters
If your child is a fussy eater and always throws tantrums whenever he is on the dining table, stop making a fuss about it. Don't panic and hold yourself well. Children observe their parents and when they know that their tantrums are not going to help them anyway, they would eat whatever is served to them. This may not happen in the first instance, but wait patiently and you can observe the result. Parents just need to be positive about their actions and then things are going to work well.
Find out the actual reason for child's fussiness
If a child is being fussy while eating, try and find out why he is doing so. There may be various reasons behind their behavior. Either the child is not well, or maybe he is not hungry. There can be some other reasons why a child may create a fuss about eating, few of these reasons could be ill health, mood swings, climate change, some problems at school and attention seeking. If the kid is throwing tantrums just for seeking your attention, then do sit with them and help them eat. Try talking to kids about some funny incidents or any other topic which may interest them and help them eat.
Don't allow the kids to eat junk between meals
This is one of the common problems why kids create fuss while eating. Many children continue snacking all day and when it comes to eating meals, they are always full. Children then tend to refuse eating meals once they are all stuffed with in-between meals. In such cases parents need to take proper precautions such as not allowing their kids to munch whole day and help them eat well during meals. In some families it is observed that parents themselves munch whole day on dry snacks or in-taking unhealthy food items. In such cases, it is far difficult to change the behavior pattern of children.
Try and include healthy snacks in between meals
If a child is comfortable eating in-between snacks and avoids eating meals, then parents should ensure that the in-between snacks should be healthy and suffice the body requirement of essential nutrients. Include lots of fruits, juices, milk, salads, vegetables, pasta items in the in-between meals other than serving the kids packet of munchies, fried items, chocolates etc.
Top 10 tips for dealing with children who are fussy eaters
1. Make meal time a fun filled activity for kids.
2. Encourage your child to help you with cooking. This way kids are often happy with the food that is been cooked as they have contributed in cooking and enjoy eating such foods.
3. Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your cooking other than including canned food. Always opt for seasonal buys and help children to eat it.
4. Ensure that your family sits together while having lunch and dinner. Let the children know that everybody is enjoying the same food.
5. Never force your child to eat something that they don't approve.
6. Kid's taste changes with age and very often, kids start eating foods at a certain age which they didn't prefer before.
7. While planning dinner include kid's suggestions. Allow the kids to express their views and see that, at least one dish is their favorite. Allow them to eat their favorite dish along with the other food that is prepared and thus make them eat everything.
8. Don't make a issue of your child's fussy eating in front of everyone. This encourages them more and they continue to fuss.
9. A time schedule works perfectly for fussy kids. Kids tend to throw tantrums even if dinners are usually served late.
10. Allow the kids to express their likes and dislikes and respect them. Adults too have such issues about eating, so why not kids !!
Healthy eating habits promotes a healthy body and cheerful mind. This message can be conveyed to children through parents. These tips are sure shots to help parents to transform fussy eater kids to healthy eaters.