If you ever had to say the words: “How do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t tried it” or “Just eat a little honey,” then suddenly you realize you’re begging your child to eat. Well there is a few things you can do that may help encourage your picky eater to eat on their own.
Offer an attractive reward
My child wouldn’t eat her veggies, and only wanted to eat her 3 favorite choices. Sometimes she still does. I started telling her that if she ate her veggies she would get dessert, but then she thought every time she ate vegetables she then had to get dessert. So that kind of backfired because I felt I was encouraging unhealthy foods to get her to eat healthy ones. So I thought what else can I offer her as an incentive? What I came up with is fun time with mommy. Of course she gets fun time with me anyway. However, when she tries something she normally wouldn’t and she doesn’t give me a hard time about it, then she gets fun coupon bucks that she can cash in. You can be creative with the rewards. It works great for me.
Its okay to play with your food
Making food into something kid friendly, may make your child want to try it at least. For instance, if you want them to eat fruit, you can make it into a face on the pancakes etc. Or if you want them to eat carrots, you can maybe tell them they can build something with the carrots and use peanut butter to make it stick. When they are done, tell them now they can have fun eating it. Usually eating something with my daughter helps her want to eat it.
Kids are young, but at a certain age kids can understand why they should eat certain things if you explain it to them in an age appropriate way. Telling them why food is good or why a certain food is bad for them may stick with them. You can come up with a great story or pictures for the kids. There are even books for kids about picky eaters.
Kids need encouragement and they want to please you. If you give them encouragement for the things they do right, then they will more than likely repeat that behavior. Some parents get frustrated with their kids and it becomes a frustrating time when it’s time to eat dinner etc. Instead make meal time fun time, and you will see a least a little progression.