Having a child who is a picky eater and who refuses to eat fruits or vegetables can be very frustrating. No matter how much care you take while preparing your child’s food, he or she will simply resist eating a wide variety of food. Sometimes any amount of coxing might also not help. Every other parent goes through this phase because the child is at a growing stage. You might need to use a lot of tricks to convince him to eat certain foods. A salesperson has to put in a lot of effort to convince a customer while trying to sell his new product; in the same way, parents have to put in a lot of hard work and lure their kids with a wide variety of food.
However, here are a few tried-and-tested tips that will help your child not only love his fruits and vegetables but also let you feed him or her with minimum effort.
It is important to make your child’s mealtime playful and fun. Only then will he eat well and concentrate on what he is eating.
Feed your child with a new variety of food ‘only’ when he is hungry and has rested well.
Try and introduce one new food at a time. If you offer him a couple of new foods to eat, chances are likely that he would not eat any of them.
Incorporate some fun elements into your child’s food. For instance, present the food in such a way that it would look appealing to him or her; cut them into beautiful shapes and sizes and make them look appealing.
Include his or her favourite food along with the new food. If your child is fond of bananas, give a twist with the bananas.
Children like to imitate; so pop the new food yourself and ask your child to follow suit. Your child will definitely eat it this way.
Involve your kid when you are cooking. This is an excellent way to make them eat new food. Since they were involved in the entire process, they are most likely to eat it.
Don’t let them feed too much on juices or energy drinks. Beverages can fill your child’s stomach very fast; thus making them refuse your nutrition-rich food.
Children love snacking. But snacking can kill their appetite. So, limit your child’s in-between meal snacking to just two in a day.
It is difficult to make kids eat vegetables, especially broccolis or other green veggies. Try and create a food collage with the help of your kid using broccoli florets, carrots, cauliflower and other green vegetables. They will definitely start eating their masterpiece.
If they hate whole grain cereals, try and innovate by adding fruits. You can make a smiley face with different kinds of fruits.
Kids like fruit smoothies. In case they say no to certain fruits, make them drink a glass of smoothie instead. Smoothies make a good afternoon snack as well.
While going food shopping, take your kid along and let them choose new fruits or vegetables. Once you are back, cook the ones your kid had picked and appreciate on his or her choice of food.
Bake their favourite food with a lot of veggies or fruits. If they hate carrots, make carrot muffins or carrot cakes for them. If they hate zucchini, add it in the dough while baking your bread. There are numerous options; you just need to innovate and make it look appealing.
Make soups or stews for them with lots of veggies if they refuse to eat cooked vegetables.
Instead of giving your kid a cup of ice-cream, make a fruit salad by including all his favourite fruits, coupled with some new ones with yogurt; sprinkle raisins and nuts to improve the taste.
Add some butter or ghee (clarified butter) to some cooked vegetables. This will not only enhance the taste but also fill your kid’s stomach.
Keep a lot of vegetables and fruits handy like apple, banana, grapes, figs, pears, carrots to help your child snack on these healthy and nutritious food.
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