“No, I don’t want to eat!” When every mealtime seems like a battle, it’s easy to just give up and let your child eat whatever he wants. That’s why we’ve come up with pointers to help you deal with your children’s eating shenanigans.
1. The one who totally hates veggies Veggies are an important ingredient to a growing child’s nutritional needs. Sherrylab L. Boston, M.D., pediatrician at the Mandaluyong Medical Center, says there are several ways to prepare vegetables so that they find their way smoothly into your child’s stomach. Instead of stir-frying, try overcooking your vegetables to make them mushier. “The softer texture is bound to make those vicious vegetables more digestible,” she says. You can also try melting cheese over veggies or chopping them into tiny pieces so you can sneak them into a dish your child loves, Dr. Boston adds.
2. The one who likes to eat just one color of food Using color when it comes to food presentation is one trick to lure your child to the dining tableóbut remember, no matter how finicky an eater he is, you still make the rules when it comes to what he eats. “If your child does not want to eat what’s on the table, let him be excused. Don’t offer him any other food. He needs to understand that he doesn’t get a special menu just because he doesn’t like what’s on the table,” say Dr. Boston. Ann Douglas, in her book The Mother of All Parenting Books, agrees: your child simply gets to decide whether or not he eats what is served him.
Don’t worry; your child will not starve if he skips a meal. When he’s hungry, heíll be less picky about food.
3. The one addicted to sweets To wean him away from sweets, gradually introduce your child to new ß avors, says Ellen Satter, author of How You Get Your Kid to EatóBut Not Too Much. Satter is a therapist and dietitian who developed a model for feeding children based on trust and acceptance. Donít force your child to try a new taste in a snap.
Steer him towards new flavors by reducing the sugar content of dishes heís accustomed to. For starters, try a “sweet and sour” recipe. Don’t mix sweets into his rice meals. Instead, give him fruits to satisfy his need for a sugar fix; this is the healthier option.
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