When you have children that are picky or fussy eaters, it can make mealtimes stressful. This stress can leave you full of worry. Making sure that picky eaters get the nutrients and goodness that they need is crucial. So, just what can you do to make mealtimes more enjoyable, and what meal ideas can you try out?
Finger Foods Make it Fun
Picky eaters and fussy eaters can sometimes be reluctant to pick up a knife and fork. If you find that this is happening and if your children are hesitant, then remove the stress as much as you can. Alleviate the pressure of using a knife and fork to eat foods with, and instead go for something a little bit easier to handle. For example, finger food such as carrot sticks and cucumber sticks that come with vegetable dips will allow children to at their own pace. It is also good to try and introduce finger foods as often a lot of issues around picky eating and fussing eating can stem from issues with texture and consistency of food.
Looking At What is Triggering Issues
You will often find that kids who are fussy eaters have triggers. There will often be something that is forcing them to avoid certain foodstuffs. For example, if you are fostering a child and have noticed that they are highly triggered at certain points of the day, or after certain situations, then try your best to ease the pressure of these triggers. If you can, try to remove them completely. Triggers for children will leave them with lasting memories, so try to change the negative situations and instead replace them (where you can) with positivity.
Food That is Exciting and Interesting
Food can become repetitive for children, and it can be bland in appearance too, especially if you are not introducing lots of colors. Making food both exciting and interesting is important. If food feels bland, and it looks the same, then what is going to be appealing about it for your children? Try to see food through the eyes of younger children and see how you can make bland and ordinary foodstuffs both exciting and appealing. For example, can you cut fruits and vegetables up to make them into dinosaurs or other animals?
Introducing New Foods at Slow Pace
Introducing new foods to a picky eater can be challenging, and it can be overwhelming at times. Taking things steady, and not introducing too much at once is important. Going slowly when introducing new items and foodstuffs is what you should be focusing on. Do not try to introduce or even change lots of things at once as this may trigger a negative reaction, and it may cause a negative association with food once more. Instead, try to introduce one or two new items or foodstuffs every few days. This way it is not so challenging or overwhelming, and progress can be made slowly over time.