We all knew that kid, or was the kid, that only ate chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for dinner (every night). And now you may have the child that only want Oreos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here are some tips for handling a finicky eater.
Try 20 times. Now, this may sound like a lot but it is proven that introducing food in small increments for 20 consecutive days will reduce the ‘fear factor’ and increase the familiarity with the food.
One of the most effective ways to eat a particular food is to actually eat it with your child. Take a piece of food, cut it in half, taste it and act like a 5-star chef cooked it, then offer it to your child. They then know it is safe and yummy.
This may be a hard one, but don’t pressure your child. ‘Pressuring’ comes in a lot of different forms. For instance, threatening playtime if they don’t finish their broccoli. Research has shown that pressuring a child into eating a food actually leads to them disliking it all together.
I’m sure you know this one. Incentivize. This can be as easy as praising the child for trying something new or providing them with a sticker on a sticker chart every time they branch out. Children are willing to work pretty hard for a reward.
And lastly, don’t offer food rewards! And yes, that means dessert. Bribing a child with dessert as an incentive will lead them to dislike the problem food that much more.
So put the mac and cheese away and try these tips for a more balanced and healthy diet for your child.