How to Handle a Picky Eater

Peas? Prefer not. Nectarines? No, thank you. Broccoli? Bleck!

When you are the parent of a picky eater, it feels like every meal is an impossible obstacle to overcome. Your baby seems to quickly reject nearly every morsel and mouthful. This makes the job of affording quality nutrition to your child’s growing body a big challenge.

Often times, overly choosy children can make for very frustrated parents. It’s hard enough just getting your child to eat in the first place, nonetheless having to deal with the difficulty of a finicky and fussy wee one.

Thankfully, there are strategies and tricks that can make mealtime a little more enjoyable – for the both of you! Here are a few of our top tips when it comes to feeding a picky baby.

Stick to a Schedule

A structured routine of three meals and two snacks per day not only helps to regulate and normalize the hunger cues of a growing child, but also works to combat the overly picky preferences of young kids. Many doctors contribute the choosiness of some children to their tendency to be grazers, preferring frequent snacks to three straightforward meals. Offering a balanced schedule of meals with set snacks in between will ensure your baby doesn’t fill up prematurely throughout the day.

Offer a Variety of Foods

You know what they say – variety is the spice of life! It’s also the secret to feeding baby best. Offer a wide assortment of foods at each meal to ensure your child is well fed. Introduce new foods as often as you like, so long as they are age-appropriate, and try not to make a big deal when you do so. In fact, the best times to try out new foods is when you know your child is hungry.

Use Proper Portions

Toddlers and tots don’t require as much food as a full-grown adult, so ensure you’re feeding your baby according to his or her age and size. Typically, those in their first few years only require a quarter the amount of food as an adult, so portion accordingly.

Be a Sneaky Chef

Does your son swear off spinach or your daughter detest any drink that isn’t soda? Try getting a little creative in the kitchen to encourage a more well-rounded meal plan. Many healthy additions can be subtly snuck into your baby’s already enjoyable entrees, whether it’s puréed pumpkin in his soup or a few minced carrots in her casserole.

Minimize Mealtime Distractions

A lot of external noise or an alluring nearby toy can make feeding and eating more difficult than it needs to be. Distractions can often take the focus away from a child’s rumbling tummy so that the last thing they want to do at the table is eat. Make mealtime a time for meals, and that’s it. Put away visible toys and turn down ambient noise.

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