Is my child getting enough nutrients through their everyday meal? Is the food he/she is eating enough for their growth and health? These worries not only make parents force their children to eat foods they don’t like but also make children more stiff-necked while eating.
Now as a concerned parent, you need to find ways to make your child eat healthy so that they can grow as fast as other children of the same age. But, forcing them will just make it more difficult and your child may become more fussy about food. Then, what should you do? In this blog, we have explained some simple yet wonderful and effective ways that can help parents to deal with children who are picky eaters and help them to love food and eat sufficiently to grow healthy through pediatric feeding therapy for toddlers in Dubai.
Before we get to the main point, we first have to understand why a child becomes a picky eater. The reasons can vary with children. A child can be a picky eater when they don’t like the taste of some food. It is not something serious to worry about. But, if your child has a feeding and swallowing disorder, also known as Dysphagia, they may find it difficult to eat and swallow some foods. So, it is necessary to assess and understand a child’s condition first and then take the necessary steps to overcome the challenge.
5 Ways that You Can Use to Deal with Your Child Who Is a Picky Eater
Never Force Your Children to Eat Something They Don’t Like
When you force a child to eat food, they show more resistance. It affects not only their mood but also their mental health. So, you must not scold your children or be forceful with them when you are feeding them. You should take time to understand their preference and give them food that is healthy as well as tasty for them. It will be easier for your child to improve eating behaviours and for parents to deal with and solve picky eating.
Engage Your Child in a Discussion on Food
The best way to make children interested in something is to talk about it frequently. It can work for food as well. A proper yet interesting discussion will help your children understand and memorize the color, shape, texture, and smell and share their thoughts and preference for food. It will also help your child to love the food you eat or make and develop the feeling of trying them out.
Involve Your Child in the Preparation of Meals Frequently
The things your child makes with their own hands are always precious to them. It can be the things they create in their art and craft classes or the food they help you with the preparation. When they are involved in meal preparation, children can connect with the food more and understand the effort their parents put into making them. Even if they do a little help like picking out fruits and vegetables, peeling the peas or jobs where a knife is not needed, and setting the dinner table, it will surely make them excited to try the food and enjoy every bite.
Stick to a Routine for Meals and Snacks
Maintaining a routine for meals, study, play or sleep will help your child is essential for the growth and development of a child in a proper way. It is one of the healthy habits that a parent should teach their child from the beginning to balance everything in the appropriate manner. When you maintain a routine for their meal, they will look forward to the food you are preparing for them and it will become a habit for them to be at the dining table when the time comes.
Make Food Fun and Interesting for Your Child
Have you ever wondered why restaurants give so much effort into the decoration of the food? Obviously, it is all to make the food more appetizing. You can do the same for your child at home. Cutting the vegetables and fruits in fun shapes and doing some creativity with the food not only make your child more intrigued by the food they have been served but also it stimulates their hunger and culinary interest. You can let them try decorating their own plates to make it more entertaining for them.
Some Additional Tips for Parents of Picky Eaters
- Avoid creating negative food experiences by forcing your child to eat foods they don’t like
- Never let your child have drinks before and during meals as it will kill their appetite
- Prevent yourself from bribing, punishing, or rewarding your child for their eating behaviors
- Never use negative words like “yuck” or “gross” for food as it will make your child reluctant while eating
Feeding Therapy for Picky Eaters in Dubai- Hope Abilitation Medical Center
The tips can help you deal with a child who is a picky eater. However, there are times when a child can be a picky eater due to some medical condition or disorder. In such cases, it is necessary to assess the child with the help of a feeding therapist and provide the right treatment to help them overcome the feeding and swallowing disorder and improve associated factors, involving supporting hydration and nutrition, reducing the risk of pulmonary problems to a minimum, managing oral or pharyngeal or respiratory coordination, modifying the behavioral and sensory issues etc.
Hope Abilitation Medical Center is a well-recommended pediatric feeding therapy center in Dubai dedicated to helping children with developmental disorders. Their specialized team of pediatric therapists offers feeding therapy for children diagnosed with feeding and swallowing disorders.
Schedule a consultation to discuss the condition of your child and learn what strategies can help your child improve their eating behaviors.