Having young kids in the house means every day is a surprise, you never really know what’s coming. Their moods, likes and dislikes change in the blink of an eye, especially when it comes to food. Although, we have to give them some credit for being so consistent in their inconsistencies. One day they’ll love lovelove fruits and the next day, refuse to ever touch them. They’ll declare their hatred for eggs at breakfast and then demand nothing but eggs at dinner! There’s really no telling when it comes to kids.
If you are worried because your toddler is a fussy and picky eater, don’t you worry, you’ve come to the right place. Almost every kid goes through a picky eater phase at some point.While your kid’s fussy habits may seem completely random to you, they do have some reason behind them. Knowing these reasons can help you understand your kids better.
1. Blame it on biology
The link between picky eaters and evolution cannot be ignored. Many people believe that the reason kids become picky eaters around when they start to walk on their own is an evolutionary tactic meant to protect them. As they reach an age where they are inclined to wander off out of their parent’s eyesight, instincts kick in and they learn to be wary of bitter food. Bitter tastes are usually associated with toxic food items. While this is a great defence against, say poisonous berries or leaves, it’s not great for when you’re trying to get your kid to eat their veggies. This factor might be the culprit behind what’s making your kid a picky eater.
2. They are learning to make decisions:
As kids grow older, they naturally feel the need to make their own choices. This disposition in their behaviour starts a lot earlier than most parents think. You will notice the change as your children slowly start to assert their own rights over how they play, when they sleep, and yes, in what they eat. This is not necessarily a bad thing. You can encourage your child to build on their newfound autonomy in a healthy way by letting them be a part of the meal prep process or by letting them choose their snacks from a small selection of items.
3. Increased sensitivity:
When it comes to kids,it’s not only the taste of the food that matters to them but the texture and colours as well. If the texture of a food doesn’t appeal to them they get irritated and refuse to eat. Parents should take their kid’s tastes in colour and texture into account as well while preparing meals for them.
How to win over a picky eater
As parents, it’s tempting to just give in to the whims of picky eaters and let them eat what they like, or skip what they don’t. While this is definitely a good tactic in the right situations, it’s not always the right choice to make. You need to gently teach your kids to have a more open palate for food. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
1. Introduce them to different foods:
Parents end up unconsciously pushing their own likes and dislikes onto their kids by only feeding them their own preferences. Let your kid explore different kinds of food, even the ones that you don’t personally like, so that they can figure out their own likes and dislikes.
2. Keep devices away at mealtime:
The dining table should be a distraction-free zone. Keep devices away while you’re eating and refrain from letting your kids watch T.V while they eat. This will help them to focus on their food better.
3. Involve your kids in meal prep:
Kids tend to be more interested in their meals if you involve them in the cooking process. Let your kids help out with basic things such as stirring, sprinkling, pouring and so on. They will help them to develop interest and build a healthy relationship with food.
4. Limit sugary drinks:
Most kids go through a liquids-addiction phase at some point. If they’re filling up on milk or juice more often than required, they won’t feel hungry come mealtime. Keep a check on what your kid is eating during the day to help them regulate their schedule.
We hope this helped you to better understand your kid’s eating habits and how to deal with picky eaters. At the end of the day, every child is different. It will take some trial and error on your part before you better understand how to effortlessly fulfil your child’s nutrition needs. But don’t you worry, we’re here to help you every step of the way!