How To Encourage Your Child To Eat Healthy
I am sure many parents have had a struggle on how to encourage your child to eat healthy. In our house, I have two kids at the opposite end of the picky eater scale. Caitlin, my 13 year old loves to try new foods and has a healthy appetite. Henry on the other hand is extremely picky and that makes meal time very challenging. For children who have autism, many have issues with food, making it difficult to get them to eat. Many of these precious children have a problem with textures, tastes, appearance and swallowing. For the longest time, I worried that Henry wasn’t getting enough to eat, but our doctor assured me Henry’s body would tell him when to eat. To make things a bit easier, I did some research on ideas to overcome the picky eater syndrome. Here is what I found:
- Don’t push your child to eat. If they say they are or are not hungry, they probably are or are not. I grew up on the “eat everything on your plate” meal plan and I think that rooted the negative food issues I have today. Don’t use food as a weapon or a bargaining chip because you are upping your child’s chances of having an eating disorder down the road.
- Stick to a routine with when and where meals are eaten. I try to have dinner served at the same time every night, but as life happens, that is not always the way things go. Bearing that I mind, try to be as consistent as possible. This helps kids know what to expect regarding meals and it helps everyone schedule their time accordingly.
- Be patient!! If you are interested in serving your child a new food, you need to be patient with them. The other thing you need to remember is no one likes every food, so give your child the change to discover their likes and dislikes. If you want your child to try a new food, why not give them just a small, small bite so they can feel like they have accomplished a huge feat!!!
- Make meal time fun! Don’t be so stuffy!! If the whole family is sitting down for a meal, no one said you must be silent and somber during your dinner! With my kids, I try to be silly with their food sometimes, like making a smiley face with ketchup on their burger or making my famous lop sided Mickey Mouse pancakes!!!
How To Make Mealtime Fun
In the past, I racked my brain trying to decide how to make mealtime fun. Henry has always had difficulty eating certain foods due to a swallowing issue he has. You only need your child to choke on a food once to be very wary of the bites they take. We had to make sure every food he ate was in small enough pieces that he wouldn’t choke. We even had to cut grapes in to fourths!! I really wish I had the Fun Bites when Henry was younger because it would have made meals much easier. I received one of each of the FunBites products ($12.99 each or $22.00 for both). I was excited to try the FunBites products because I knew if it worked, Henry would love it. I am going to admit something and if you laugh at me..I don’t blame you!! I tried the FunBites on a PB&J sandwich. Um..not too clever as the peanut butter stuck to the FunBites…duh!!! Next I used the FunBites on a biscuit for breakfast and it worked great. Henry had so much fun eating his biscuit one tiny bite at a time! This is a product I will use every day in my house.
One reader will receive one FunBites of their choice ($12.99)