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How To Handle A Picky Eater
Toddlers can be notoriously picky eaters and it usually starts when they turn a year old. This is when they can start to feed themselves and choose what they want to eat. One day they might eat everything in sight and the next day they will not eat anything at all. These are all busy days for toddlers and they are exploring everything that they see.
Since many things are changing that they cannot control, they find that they can control one thing, which is what they eat. Most of the time, they will choose to eat the same things, because it gives them comfort and they know what the food is.
The best thing to do with a picky eater is to continue to offer a large variety of foods. At mealtime, place food that they will eat right alongside something that they might not eat. A lot of times a child needs to try a food many times before they start to like it. The more times that they are given the foods will increase the chance that they will actually eat it.
Another thing that parents want to do is make sure that their children see them eating all of these foods. It is also helpful if a parent tries foods that they have never liked either. This will show the child that mom or dad is trying new things as well.
The worst thing that a parent can do is only cook the foods that the child will eat. This will only teach them that you are a short order cook and that you will cater to them. You will have a difficult time finding something that they will eat whenever you go anywhere with them.
It is also not wise to force the child to eat. A child needs to listen to the cues their body is giving them as to when they are hungry or full. If they are continuously being told to finish their dinner, then these cues will no longer mean anything to them. This can cause many problems as they get older.
To encourage your child to eat when they are hungry, you can try a nibble plate, where you put a few different finger foods on a plate and let them eat as they are playing. A lot of children also like to dip their foods into something, so serve some veggies with dip or fruit with whipped cream. Since many toddlers love to drink out of a cup, you might want to try making them a smoothie. This way you will get fruit into them without any trouble.
There are many different ways to get a picky eater to eat. You just need to be persistent and you cannot give up. Each child is different and what works for one may not work for another.