Handling Picky Eaters


The younger years are a time of growing independence. You child is trying to control all aspects of his life, and this can lead to some trying times. This can be especially evident at mealtime.

If your child is a picky eater, there are ways of handling it without turning your meal into a battleground. First, try to schedule all meals and snacks so your child can adjust to a feeding schedule. At the meal, offer your child the food: if he refuses to eat it, do not fight him, bribe him or give him another option. Simply put it away. If he complains that he is hungry prior to the next scheduled meal or snack, offer it to him again. If he again refuses, wait for the next mealtime to feed him. Children can miss a meal or two without detrimental effects and they will not starve themselves. You are probably suffering more than he is.

It is also a good idea to make sure there is something he likes at every meal, but keep it to a normal portion. Only give him more if he finishes everything else.
If you want to introduce a new food, offer a small portion to him. If he eats it and likes it, offer him more. If he does not eat it, do not be concerned. Continue to offer it to him on a regular basis. Some children may need to be introduced to a new food up to fifteen times before they will consider eating it.

Above all else, relax if your child is growing at a normal rate and appears happy and active, he is probably getting adequate nutrition.

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