One of the best things you can teach your children is to have love and appreciation for all types of food—even those that other kids would consider “yucky.” But that’s also where we become more pressured, considering it’s easy for them to become picky eaters. And we don’t want that, do we?
What many parents don’t realize is that they are a major contributor to whether or not a child wants a particular food. And the truth is, it’s very easy to be unaware of what we’re all doing to positively—and negatively—affect a child’s food preference. If you have and you currently have a picky eater in your hands, don’t fret. There are ways that you can undo it and turn your child into a more adventurous eater.
Here are a few principles to raising good eaters:
1. It’s just a taste.
Parents need to teach and remind their children that not all food are the same. They have different textures and, more importantly, tastes. But wouldn’t food be as amazing if they were mostly the same? Tell your children that some food are meant to be enjoyed as they are, whether bitter, rough or simply something your children don’t really like because it tastes different compared to their favorite Mac and Cheese.
2. Kids are NOT too young to be exposed to adult food.
A common mistake that parents make is choosing a completely different menu for the kids, whether at home or while out at restaurants. This is not only time consuming and expensive, it’s a hassle! Don’t be afraid to let your kids try out the adult menu. This way, you won’t have to prepare something else for your kid every time. And if there’s something that your child really can’t have from your own food, like sodium-filled noodles, perhaps you should ditch that from your diet too. In a way, this also helps force you to eat healthier so it’s a win-win situation!
3. Caregivers are the best models.
As previously mentioned, kids like mirroring what they see so if they see you throw away food you don’t like, they’ll probably hate it too. So the next time you find something you don’t like, avoid making judgments about it and let your child try it out so they have a chance to form a different opinion. This way, you’re not limiting that your kids could potentially enjoy.
4. Taste first before saying “No.”
Here’s an awesome tip! Implement a rule where your kids (and everyone in your household) should give new food at least 3 bites or spoons before deciding whether or not they like it. This way, even if a particular food doesn’t pass their palette’s standards, your kids get exposed to different types of food and might even develop a liking for it later on. After all, that’s what makes your child a better eater—the chance to try out a wide variety of tastes and textures that food has to offer.
Article compliments of Best Mom TV