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  • Mom Shares Secrets How Her Kids Went From 'Maselan Sa Pagkain' To 'Magana Kumain'

    There are ways to develop your child's healthy eating habits and it should start at a young age.
    by Lynne Luakian .
Mom Shares Secrets How Her Kids Went From 'Maselan Sa Pagkain' To 'Magana Kumain'
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  • A common topic moms discuss over coffee or breakfast is how picky their kids are when it comes to food. I remember a mom ranting about bringing a mini rice cooker during travels because her kid only eats rice. Another friend of mine recalls her son eating rice and Vienna sausage while they were at the Eiffel Tower because he refuses to eat the local cuisine.

    I never had a problem with my kids when it comes to food. They eat anything if not everything I give them. Of course, they have their own preferences but they always try to taste the food before passing judgement.

    How to deal with picky eaters

    If you find that your toddler has suddenly become maselan when it comes to food, first know that a drop in appetite is normal at this stage of development, according to What To Expect. But while your child will outgrow the phase, it does not mean that your kid should get away from refusing food. There are ways to develop your child's healthy eating habits and it should start at a young age.

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    Here are some of the things I've learned over the years raising my two kids:

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    1. Eat what they eat. 

    If you want them to eat vegetables, then you have to show them that you are eating your broccolis and your carrots, too. You have to walk the walk.

    2. Make a weekly menu so you know what to prepare for the day.

    This way you won’t panic and dial pizza delivery when food runs out. We have some toddler meal ideas here and here!

    3. Prepare healthy snacks in bite-sized pieces.

    My kids love to eat fruits for snacks like apples, grapes, guavas and seasonal fruits like  pomelo, nectarine, kiwi and plum. The trick is to slice them into bite-sized pieces and then leave them in the refrigerator.

    Another trick that works: Start eating the fruits and don't offer it to them. Sooner or later, they will start hovering out of curiosity and will try to taste the fruits.

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    4. Let them help out in the kitchen.

    I have proven the fact that when kids help out in the kitchen, their minds think that any food they prepare is delicious. If not, they will still eat them anyway just to save face.

    5. Give them choices (or at least let them believe so).

    My kids know they have to eat what we prepare for them, but they also hate it when they are forced to do so. So, I let them choose from my predetermined choices (avoid letting them have a third option). For example: "For dinner, you can have pasta or chicken."

    Note that all adults must work as a team because you are up against a tough opponent. One adorable look, one bat of an eyelash and yaya might be convinced to suddenly fry canned sausages and Spam. Stick to the plan! Don't get sucked into their hypnotic gaze! Avoid eye contact if you must—don't let the kids break down the foundation you have painstakingly built.

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    6. Colors make them happy!

    Decorate, add some colors in your food presentation, and be creative when serving their dishes.

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    7. If all else fails, unlock the vaults and get your secret weapons, er, secret sauces.

    My son hated bola-bola (meatballs) when he was 2 years old. He even made a poem declaring his hatred for this meal. But believe it or not, he eats them now with love and gusto. Here are my best bets for sauces: Aristocrat java sauce, homemade honey mustard sauce, barbecue sauce, Ma Hu or pork floss, and of course, the ever reliable banana ketchup.

    Be patient, be creative and be consistent. It only takes a dash of color, a sprinkle of love and your kids will enjoy eating in no time. Good luck!

    Lynne Luakian is a graduate from De La Salle University Computer Science who woke up one day and decided to write. A wife and a mom of two, she is on an imperfect mom's quest to be the best version of herself. Read more about her survival guide to the crazy world of motherhood at www.perfectmommyproject.wordpress.com or follow her @perfectmommyproject on Facebook and Instagram.

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    End mealtime battles with this hack that another Pinay mom discovered! Click here to read.

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