There are times when dining goes from being a pleasant family activity to becoming a battlefield to get our children to eat. Avoid confrontations at the dinner table with these simple tips to try and make your children less fussy eaters.
1. Teach by imitation
Children carefully observe everything we do and learn by imitation: practicing with the cutlery, peeking around, learning to use napkins, drinking water from the glass… family is their main reference. Lead by example, and eat all kinds of food, even if they are small portions.
2. A little bit of everything is always better
Sometimes we parents insist that children eat more than they want or even need. It is advisable to rather take small portions of several different kinds of food and finish it, than have a larger plate that the child would be intimidated by.
3. Pleasantries with the family
Think of dining as an intimate time to share together with your family. Bring about a pleasant atmosphere that makes everyone more comfortable around the table.
4. Introduce new types of food
Many children refuse to try new kinds of food. The best way to go about challenging this is for your children to see such food on your plate, before you can get your kids to try it, at which point they may already be familiar with it.
5. Rewards are unnecessary
If your child refuses food, do not insist that they eat it in return for a reward such as a dessert that they might like. It will only lead them to believe that they deserve a gift and feel entitled to a reward each time they eat something that may not be to their taste.
6. Avoid try to feed them if they seem tired
Forget about feeding them when they clearly appear to be fatigued. It is going to be much more tedious and will end up tiring the both of you.
7. The veto on food
Let your child vote on a food that he/she may not want to eat as a “veto” arrangement. The only rule here is that you cannot ban generics, such as fish or vegetables.
8. Fun food
Children are more attracted to food if you incorporate fun spins to it. In some of our posts you can find many ideas that your kids would love.
9. Hide what you don’t like
Disguise unattractive foods that take more convincing to get them to eat, through creams, purées or integrate them with other popular preparations that everyone likes, such as pasta or rice.