It can be a real challenge to deal with a finicky eater, especially if you are the one responsible for cooking and providing their meals. Finicky eaters can be picky about the types of food they eat, the amount of food they consume, or even the way their food is prepared. If you are struggling to feed a finicky eater, we have got you covered. In this article, we will share eight ways to deal with a finicky eater that can make your life a little easier.
1. Respect their Preferences
The first thing you need to do when dealing with a finicky eater is to respect their preferences. This means that you should not force them to eat something that they don’t like. Instead, try to find out what they do like and incorporate it into their meals. If they don’t like vegetables, try to sneak them into their food by pureeing them and adding them to sauces or soups.
Remember, it is important to be patient and understanding when dealing with a finicky eater. Don’t get frustrated or angry if they refuse to eat something. Instead, try to find a compromise that works for both of you.
2. Offer a Variety of Foods
One of the reasons why some people are finicky eaters is because they are not used to eating a variety of foods. If you want to expand their palate, you need to offer them a variety of foods. This means that you should try to introduce new foods slowly and in small amounts. You can also try to incorporate new foods into their favorite dishes.
Another way to offer a variety of foods is to let them help with meal planning and grocery shopping. This can give them a sense of control and help them feel more invested in the meals they are eating.
3. Make Mealtime Fun
Mealtime should be a fun and enjoyable experience. If you want your finicky eater to be more receptive to new foods, you need to make mealtime fun. This can be as simple as creating a themed meal or using fun plates and utensils.
You can also try to get creative with your cooking. Try to make food that looks interesting and appealing. For example, you can make fruit kebabs or colorful salads that are visually appealing.
4. Don’t Use Food as a Reward or Punishment
Using food as a reward or punishment can be a recipe for disaster. If you want your finicky eater to have a healthy relationship with food, you need to avoid using food as a reward or punishment.
Instead, try to offer praise and encouragement for trying new foods. You can also offer non-food rewards, such as a trip to the park or a movie night.
5. Be a Role Model
Children often model their behavior after their parents. If you want your finicky eater to be more open to new foods, you need to be a good role model. This means that you should try new foods yourself and show enthusiasm for healthy eating.
You can also involve your finicky eater in meal preparation. This can help them feel more invested in the meal and more willing to try new things.
6. Make Healthy Food Fun
Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. If you want your finicky eater to eat more healthy foods, you need to make it fun. This means that you should try to incorporate healthy foods into their favorite dishes.
You can also try to make healthy snacks that are fun and appealing. For example, you can make fruit and yogurt parfaits or homemade granola bars.
7. Don’t Force Them to Clean Their Plate
Forcing a finicky eater to clean their plate can be counterproductive. This can create a negative association with food and make them even more resistant to trying new foods.
Instead, try to encourage them to eat until they are full. You can also try to offer smaller portions or let them serve themselves.
8. Seek Professional Help if Needed
If your finicky eater’s behavior is causing concern, you may want to seek professional help. A registered dietitian or therapist can help you develop a plan to address their picky eating habits.
Remember, picky eating is a common behavior in children and is usually not a cause for concern. However, if you are worried about your child’s eating habits, it is important to seek professional help.
Dealing with a finicky eater can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. By respecting their preferences, offering a variety of foods, and making mealtime fun, you can help your finicky eater become more receptive to new foods.
Remember, it is important to be patient and understanding when dealing with a finicky eater. Don’t force them to eat something they don’t like or use food as a reward or punishment.
If you are struggling to feed a finicky eater, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. With the right strategies and support, you can help your finicky eater develop a healthy relationship with food.