Updated: Mar 28, 2021
👩👧👦Children's 🥦Nutrition👨🍳 Tips: How to spread healthy, even to the picky eaters; 🕵️♀️ - it's so hard to want to 💪empower your children's drive for independence when you are trying to "break" them of a poor habit. However, empowering 💪 your child is exactly the key to your success in preventing the mealtime battles and creating the change necessary for long term lasting healthy habits!!!!
TIP 5️:Don't be a short-order cook:
✅ Stop Offering Alternatives - Preparing a separate meal for the child after he or she rejects the original meal might promote picky eating. You want to give them the power of choice throughout the day but between the items you have offered. Resist the puppy dog eyes, and quivering lip, and desire to please, to regain routine in a system that works and empowers the child to make long last healthy choices far after you are there to push them to do so.
✅ Again stick to ROUTINE - The alternative (if the child doesn't like what's being offered) again come at scheduled snack and meal times, with enough offerings throughout the day, your child will not starve if they do not eat one or two or even three. So relax they will survive. In most cases, Mother Nature will ensure he or she takes in enough calories to promote survival.
✅ SIT DOWN- Encourage the child to stay at the table for the designated mealtime — even if he or she doesn't eat. The routine of the actual act of sitting down, focused on the task at hand (giving our bodies the fuel it needs to feel good and perform as we desire) has a huge impact. Consider this critical family time. Try to stay consistent, so the child understands they need to sit there regardless if they are choosing to eat the items. Also leading by example is huge in this area - so be mindful if you are joining your child during these eating times what are you eating. ✅ Pairing - Remember this topic from previous tips still applies here. Serve new foods along with your child's favorite foods. Keep serving your child healthy choices until they become familiar and preferred. Also only offer ONE new food item at a time when possible, to not overwhelm the child.
✅ Stick with it - Studies show it takes 21 -66 days to work a new habit it so you have to stick with something that's working for at least 21 days, we say a roughly a month, in order for it to become a healthy habit that sticks long term. Keep serving your child healthy choices until they become familiar and preferred. In the beginning all these tips and meals and snacks can seem like a lot and sometimes even a lot of waste, but once the child becomes accustom to these changes, less and less is wasted and they are more and more empowered to make the right choices on their own free will so there is less and less resistance. So hang in there.
✅ Empowerment - remind the child the goal is to fuel their body. Give them 5 options for a future meal and ask them which they would like you to make. Then show them which day you will make that meal and then reinforce that's their day to choose how to fuel their body. Keep this fun, whatever the age group, letting them feel in control and that their opinion matters.
If you're concerned that picky eating is compromising your child's growth and development, consult your child's doctor. He or she can plot your child's growth on a growth chart. In addition, consider recording the types and amounts of food your child eats for three days. The big picture might help ease your worries. A food log can also help your child's doctor determine any problems.
Stay tuned for the next health tip # 6️: Minimize distractions. If it's important to you, you will focus on it, no excuses. I share these tips not because I'm perfect or because I have it all figured out, but because I too struggle as a parent getting my children to eat healthy and thought it might help others to hear what we found helped us. Perhaps by sharing my findings, someone else won't have to struggle through as much as we did. I also share to provide hope that it is possible, you can get even the picky eaters to eat healthy!
In the meantime, remember that your child's eating habits won't likely change overnight — but the small steps you take each day can help promote a lifetime of healthy eating. To truly acknowledge how hard it is to want to 💪empower your children's drive for independence when you are trying to "break" them of a poor habit. However, empowering 💪 your child is exactly the key to your success in preventing the mealtime battles and creating the change necessary for long term lasting healthy habits!!!! Remember these kids will be the leaders of tomorrow. Thank you again for your support!!! #HealthyWarner #HealthyEatingForKids #ChildrensNutrition #ParentingTips