We as parents have all faced the challenge of the picky eater. Anything that looks good to our sweet children is most of the time deemed as disgusting. They’re quick to turn up their noses to broccoli but throw themselves on the floor in protest if they can’t have a sugar cookie. How in the world can we convince our children to try a new food without a fight or tantrum?
My daughter’s Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapist gave me a few tips on how to approach new food with Sissy. They are simple and direct.
- Start small by introducing a bite sized amount of new food. Put one piece of broccoli or one bite of applesauce on the plate. A huge serving may be overwhelming and lead to aversion.
- Restrict snacking between meals. Snacking throughout the day will decrease the child’s hunger and will make meal time difficult.
- Don’t give them too many options at meal time. Give them two options and choose for them if they refuse.
- Praise them for trying the new food! DO NOT give your attention to bad behavior when they refuse to try it, push it away or cry.
- Introduce the same food everyday for two weeks. The hope is eventually they will try it. If not, switch to another food for two weeks.
- Use the dinner table or kitchen table for eating only. Sissy knows that when we got to the table she is there to eat her meal and nothing else.
- Don’t allow any electronic devices or television viewing at meal time so the focus is strictly on eating.
- DON’T GIVE UP! It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do but I am not giving up!
Good luck with your picky eaters!