10 Ways to Sneak in Vitamins for Picky Eaters
Children begin to form their own opinions as they grow up, including what foods they like and don’t like to eat. They can become picky eaters which makes it tricky and challenging to provide the nutrients they need for growth and development.
If you are feeling frustrated because of picky eaters in your home, here are some strategies that can help you handle even the fussiest of taste buds and give them adequate nutrition.
- Know your child’s boundaries.
No one, not adults nor kids, likes to be forced to consume something they don’t want to eat. If your kids do not like the food or are not hungry, do not force them to eat. Doing so can lead your child to see mealtimes as frustrating and anxiety-inducing. Forcing them to eat when they’re not hungry can also teach them to disregard their body’s own hunger-satiety signals which can lead to eating issues when they’re adults.
- Pay attention to portions.
Large portions can be overwhelming for kids, especially when they are not so familiar with what is on their plate. Try to entice them with smaller portions, and then just offer them more once they finish what is on their plate. Also, smaller portions help reduce food waste.
- Be patient and let your child check out the food for themselves.
This applies more often to toddlers or those who are not as familiar with food. Let your child touch, smell, lick, or taste food that is in front of them. For some children, they may need to be repeatedly exposed to certain food first before they even bother trying them, so be patient – it is part of the process.
- Establish a mealtime or snack time routine.
Giving your child meals or snacks at the same time each day can let them know it is time to eat and anticipate food.
- Pair the food with their favorite “add-ons” such as dipping sauce.
If you have an inkling of what some of your child’s favorites are, try serving healthy food with them consistently. For example, provide a small portion of condiments like cheese sauce, ketchup, mayo, or salad dressing with a veggie that is not necessarily their favorite, such as broccoli. Encourage your child to eat both of them until the healthy option becomes the preferred choice.
- Get creative.
When it comes to enticing picky eaters, you may want to think out of the box. Try to use cookie cutters in various shapes to cut sandwiches, fruits, or vegetables or prepare brightly colored food for your child to eat. You can get inspiration from tons of creators online when it comes to making your child’s food more appetizing.
- Eat healthy food alongside your child.
Children pick up what the adults in their life are doing. If you are eating at the same time as them, make sure your plate has lots of nutrient-rich food you are willing to eat. When they see that you are enjoying your food, this will entice them to eat.
- Lessen distractions.
Refrain from bringing gadgets like tablets and smartphones to the table, and turn off the television. This will help your child pay attention to the food in front of them.
- Get your child involved in preparation or cooking.
If your child has shown an interest in helping you in the kitchen, let them, so long as you supervise them properly to avoid injuries. You can let them mix ingredients or even chop or slice food very carefully.
Participating in activities like this can raise their excitement levels so that they look forward to mealtimes.
- Remember their multivitamins!
Aside from providing your child with a balanced and nutrient-rich diet and encouraging lots of exercise, add supplements into their daily routine too! Ask your pediatrician about the different formulas that provide health-boosting vitamins and minerals that can help your child grow up strong, shield them from illnesses, and hopefully boost their appetite so they are excited to eat healthy food.
However, if your child’s picky eating habits continue and you are worried about the nutrients they may or may not receive, consult a pediatrician today. Health professionals like them can help pinpoint potential problems when it comes to your child’s health and provide insights on how to resolve these before it is too late.