This is a sponsored guest post.
Having a picky eater in your house can be so frustrating, but there are some unique ways you can deal with your child’s eating habits. Let’s focus on improving your kid’s diet while putting in place some easy to follow guidelines for everyone in the family.
Sticking To An Eating Schedule
One of the biggest things that a parent can do is put a routine in place for their child. This should be no different when it comes to eating. Having a scheduled time to eat will ensure your kids are hungry at the right times.
Your child will more than likely require 2 snacks and 3 meals, so you will want to space eating times out evenly.
Here are some tips to help get your child on board with eating at a scheduled time.
- If your baby likes to snack a lot, keep them occupied. This will help time fly and get them to eat more in one sitting. It may take a few days before you see them falling into a routine, but it will come naturally at some point.
- Give them some water. Believe it or not, water can help hold off hunger.
- Be prepared for tears. When kids do not get what they want when they want it, there could be tears. Stick to your guns and your kids will learn they have to eat at designated times.
- If you are leaving the house, make sure you take snacks and meals with you. This will keep you from having to eat out.
Dinner Time Should Be Family Time
Make an effort when it comes to having dinner with your family. Life is busy and we do not all have to be gourmet chefs to cook a meal. There are tons of easy meals that you can prepare. Plan your meals before going to the store, so you know what you need.
Use dinner time to ask your child about their day and what they learned. It can be one of the most special times in your home, you just have to be there and willing to listen.
Kids love to share, so they will be engaged in conversation and eating better because of it. They will not even look at eating as a chore. Sitting at the table is another good habit that will get your kids eating better.
Here are some suggestions for easy meals.
- Spaghetti with meatballs
- Mac and cheese with diced ham
- Grilled cheese with soup
- Grilled chicken and salad
You could also consider meal prepping, as this will help you throughout the week when going to work. It will also keep you from going out to eat because something will already be prepared in the freezer. It will just need heating up.
Everyone Eats What You Cook
Unfortunately, there are going to be nights when you fix something one kid loves and the other kid hates. You simply have to make it a rule that they either eat what you fix or they do not eat. While this sounds harsh, you can not be fixing two and three different meals for everyone in your family.
Kids need to try new things, as they never know what they are going to like. If you have a meat and two veggies for dinner, but your child does not like one of the veggies simply leave it off their plate. Perhaps give them more of the other vegetable. Typically, when we fix a meal there is more than one thing to choose from, so allow some lead way.
Make Healthy Choices For Your kids
The foods and drinks that your child consumes will affect their health. Therefore, you must give their bodies the nutrients that it needs. If you avoid giving your child sweet foods from an early age, then you will never have a problem. Sugary foods tend to leave kids hungry, while health foods will keep them fuller for longer periods.
Also, be aware of how sugary foods and drinks can affect your child’s oral care. You want them to have nice teeth, so limit their sugar intake. Limiting sugars will help them be healthier, and ensure their dental health is properly cared for.
Here are some sweet suggestions that are healthy.
- Fruit is a great alternative to candy.
- Yogurt tends to be another sweet treat that kids love but comes with loads of health benefits.
- Nuts are a great alternative to something sweet and tend to keep your kids fuller for a longer period of time.
- Raisins are another treat that kids love that is much more beneficial then candy.
Let Your Children Help
So many parents avoid letting their children help, but they shouldn’t. Why? Because it can have a huge impact on their life. Allowing your child to help you prepare meals can teach them about good nutrition and help them become more willing to try new foods.
What other ways can you let your child help with mealtime?
- Grocery store – Let your kid pick out something that looks good at the grocery store and give it a try in one of your meals. Perhaps a veggie that they have never tried. This is the perfect way to get your kids involved in mealtime.
- Setting the table – Kids love feeling like they are a part of something. If you want a few minutes alone in the kitchen, simply ask them to set the table.
- Gathering Ingredients – Depending on your child’s age you may be able to let them gather ingredients from the cabinet or fridge.
What Is Your Routine At Dinner Time?
Every child is different, but they all like to feel wanted and loved. Mealtime can be the perfect time to give them the affection they have been wanting all day. Get them involved, and they will be more willing to try new foods. Family dinners also help kids look forward to a meal being prepared. What is your family’s routine at dinner time? Comment below and let us know.