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  • Try These Tricks if Your Child Refuses to Drink Water, Eat Vegetables, or Try New Food

    Just because she doesn’t like a particular kind of food now doesn’t mean she’ll hate it forever.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Try These Tricks if Your Child Refuses to Drink Water, Eat Vegetables, or Try New Food
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Your little one may be excited to eat anything and everything you serve her once she’s finally allowed solid food. Whether it’s rice, fruits, or vegetables, she’ll happily eat them all. So, it might be confusing (and frustrating) to find that as a toddler, she has now become “maselan” and now refuses to eat even her favorite food!

    Get a picky eater to eat food they don’t like

    A drop in appetite is normal at this stage of development, according to What to Expect. Apart from needing fewer calories and food, your toddler also has a growing desire for control and exploring the world around her, which contributes to her picky eating habits.

    It doesn’t mean, though, that your kid should get away with refusing food. There are ways to train your child to develop healthy eating habits. Just because she doesn’t like a particular kind of food now doesn’t mean she’ll hate it forever. Here are a few strategies to curb your child’s picky eating habits based on the food they won’t eat.

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    For kids who hate vegetables

    It’s probably one of the most hated food groups, and there is actually a scientific reason behind it: Kids’ taste buds may be more sensitive to the bitter taste of some vegetables. But though they hate the taste, children will benefit from the nutrients that veggies offer.

    To help your child get used to the idea of eating vegetables, try adding it to meals she already enjoys. For example, you can add broccoli to mac and cheese and bell peppers to pizza. If you continue introducing vegetables this way, your child will eventually start to tolerate it and maybe even discover that she actually likes eating them.

    If you introduce a type of vegetable to your child and she decides she does not want to eat it, don’t give up. You’ll likely need to try mixing vegetables with familiar meals several times before it grows on them. Remember: it takes about 15 times of trying the same food before you can conclude that a kid does not like it.

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    For kids who hate trying out new food

    Children always seek out comfort and it reflects in their eating habits. They will stick to the meals they know especially if they can get away with it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help them branch out and explore more nutritious fare.

    Spice things up by letting them help prepare their meals. Pairing new food with familiar viands can also help in expanding your child’s palate. But be firm with your boundaries — once they see that you’re willing to prepare a different meal if they don’t like the new food you serve, they will no longer feel the pressure to try anything new. Let them know your boundaries in making new food for them and they will adjust accordingly.

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    For kids who do not like drinking water

    Some toddlers hate drinking water and it can be the cause of many tantrums. But it’s important that your little ones learn to like the taste of water — if not, they might get used to drinking too many sweet beverages, which can affect their health.

    If your child refuses water, start with this simple trick: let them decide how they want to drink their water. Maybe add a colorful straw or put the water in a pretty tumbler — giving them a sense of control can help change their perspective.

    It’s important to model healthy eating habits yourself if you want to convince your child to eat the food she doesn’t want. Your child will be easier to convince to try new things if they see that mommy and daddy enjoy it, too. If they have siblings, let them know this food is something that their ates and kuyas enjoy so they’ll be motivated to try it as well.

    Last but not the least, don’t start a fight whenever your child rejects food. Your goal is for your child to enjoy the experience of trying new things. This will not happen if they connect it with negative feelings. Always exercise your patience — remember that this is a normal phase and they will grow out of it!

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