It’s no news that kids are picky eaters. It’s almost like they have hawkeyes every time you place food in front of them. Is that a spinach leaf? - No. Fruits? - No. Most children go through a phase of fussy eating where you see clean plates one day and the next day the food is left untouched and they’re on the verge of throwing a hunger tantrum. Although It is completely normal for your child to be picky at times, it’s not easy to handle.
A lot of parents worry that their children are not getting their required quota of nutrition they need to grow and develop and rightly so. Each and every fruit and vegetable has something amazing to offer your child and being deprived of these can derail their development. If no measures are taken then it’ll be very difficult for your child to lose the habit of picky eating even as he becomes older.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you can do to make sure your child gets all the nutrition he needs:
1. Mealtime is family time
The most basic and the simplest thing you can do to make sure your child’s plate is clean by the end of meal time is by eating together as a family. As kids tend to imitate parents more often than not, you can be a good role model for your child by eating up all of the veggies so your child will follow suit. Also, make mealtimes more fun and relaxed by talking about things your child likes. Don’t be frustrated if your child just keeps playing with her food, she’s just curious and is learning about its texture and taste.
2. Make a routine and stick to it
This is easier said than done but one of the most common reasons for kids to refuse to have their meals is because they’ve been filling up with junk food and snacks throughout the day. So assign meal and snack times for them and make sure they don’t eat or drink anything other than water or juices in between.
3. Make it interesting
When you give your child a plate of roti with a curry on the side, does your child immediately make the grumpy face? It might be because of the same old-fashioned way the food is presented. Make it more interesting and fun by cutting food into shapes like stars or hearts. You can even use colourful plates, glasses and straws to jazz up things a little. Remember: presentation is everything!
4. No more distractions
Laptops, television, video games, mobiles and any other handheld gadgets must be kept off the dinner table. You can practice mindful eating by eliminating distractions. This means that your child will be able to feel his hunger and appetite and eat accordingly.
5. Juices to the rescue
Your child might say ‘No’ to a bowl of rice, but it’s not often that you see them refusing a glass of juice. You can give your child different veggie and fruit juices, that way she gets all the nutrition without you having to put up with a food tantrum every time. We recommend Tropicana Essentials’, a tasty and delicious range with a blend of fruit and vegetable juices which are fortified with essential nutrients: for you and your child to enjoy. Just one serving (200 ml) of Tropicana Essentials IRON juice provides 15% of RDA(Recommended dietary allowance) which would satisfy 15% of the daily iron requirement (This is the same amount of iron one would get from 100g of spinach, only much tastier).
Similarly, one serving of Tropicana Essentials FRUITS & VEGGIES juices is equivalent to consuming one serving each of the recommended fruits and veggies intake. Take your pick of these tasty juices and treat your taste buds every day. A note to keep in mind is that these juices are no substitute for staple foods, they are just necessary additional nutrients to make your diet more well-balanced.
Another important thing to remember when dealing with fussy eaters is to never use the force. Whatever your child eats by force will never be eaten by choice which will affect them in the long run. We hope these tips will help you towards making your child eat better.