Center for child development

Food: Tips for Picky Children

Are you worried that your toddler does not eat anything but chicken rolls? Or do you notice that your child prefers playing to eat? This can be an issue troubling the minds of the parents as picky children might not get the all the nutrients as they become picky about their food. It becomes all the more difficult when the child has developmental issues. However, in order to avoid making your mealtime an arena of battle, you can make use of the following tips.

Consider the appetite of your children—or the lack of it

We have often come across several parents who are worried about the food habits of their children at our speech therapy center in Kochi. The first thing we ask these parents to do is to respect the appetite of the children or the lack there of it. What happens when parents force or coerce children to take meals, they will quickly categorize mealtime with stress and anxiety and it can make the children become insensitive to cues of hunger or even begin to ignore it.

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Make a routine and stick to it

Make sure that you serve meals at the same time everyday and fill the time in-between with snacks. This can help the child get all the needed nutrients through snacks if he/she chooses to skip meal. Avoid letting the child fill her/him up with juice or milk all day, as it may reduce the child’s appetite for regular meals. In order to avoid this, provide milk or juice along with the meals or snacks.

Show patience with new food and give children time

Parents are always parents and can many times overwhelm the children with newer food every time and cane be less patient with them. For children, especially with developmental concerns, new meals are always a mystery. The new texture, tastes and flavors of the meal can be a little intimidating for the children. As such, parents must give enough time for the children to get acquainted with new foods.

Make mealtime a fun affair

If the main objective of the parents is to make children eat all their food, most of the autism spectrum disorder therapy centers in Kochi would advise the parents to make mealtime a fun-filled ride for children. Put some efforts into cutting vegetables in different shapes, give them favorite dips with food and make it all the more colorful.

Mealtime must also be a social conditioning for the child and parents must take this into consideration. Make the child sit at the table for the designated time with the family. As the food habits of the children mature, they will start liking food for the comfort of the parents.