Hello parents! So, what is it like dealing with your little stubborn picky eater? Is their picky eating habit getting out of your control? Do you think your kid is underweight or not getting the necessary nutrition like other pals? This is what other parents like you are also concerned about.
So, what to do to break the spell of the picky eating habit of your little rebel? We at Hope AMC come up with some amazing tips related to child feeding therapy to help out parents on this. We run a prestigious pediatric rehabilitation center in Dubai, where we house the world’s most experienced and competent doctors and therapists. Our motto is simple – helping kids to lead a happy and healthy life while helping them reach their developmental milestones.
We have pediatric feeding therapists on our team who have already worked with thousands of kids with picky eating habits. And, our therapists have suggested some useful things to make the feeding therapy real fun for your little picky eater at home.
First this first.
A few things parents must keep in mind at first
Picky eating habits in children definitely keep them away from having necessary or healthy foods. If the child is too stubborn and does not take healthy meals and only sticks to foods that do not fulfill the nutritional value, this is definitely concerning. If this habit goes longer, the child could be underweight or may be prone to health issues because of low immunity or lack of necessary nutrients a body needs. Moreover, there could be other health concerns.
But, if you believe that screaming at your child’s picky eating behavior could solve it, you are wrong. Rather, it can traumatize the kid. On the other hand, if you force your kid to have their meals every time, they will definitely skip it.
You need to understand the patterns of their picky eating habits. Or, the reasons behind this certain food preference.
Decoding the probable reasons why your child prefers specific foods
Parents tend to believe that their kids prefer to refuse other foods because of their stubborn nature. But, this could not be true.
You will be surprised to know that many children are sensitive to specific kinds of taste, smell and texture of foods. You may have noticed that your kid may prefer round-shaped food or do not like foods with a strong smell. This happens because they have sensitivity issues. You need to closely observe the picky eating patterns of your youngster to identify the reasons. Consulting a baby feeding specialist will ease this process.
Other reasons could be the parents themselves. Sometimes, children go with picky eating habits because of the fussy eating habits of their parents. If you as a parent have certain food preferences and you are showing it to your kid, he/she will most likely follow your path.
Apart from that, early feeding difficulties, the introduction of lumpy foods at weaning at a very late childhood period or early choosiness can cause picky eating.
How to make feeding therapy a real fun for your kid at home
The goal of feeding therapy is to introduce different types of food to the kids and help them get over their picky eating habits.
When you consult a feeding therapist, he/she will carefully assess the patterns of the picky eating habit of your kid to identify the cause behind this habit. Once the assessment is done, the therapists devise a customized feeding therapy plan to help the kids enjoy the therapy while overcoming the picky eating habit eventually.
Here are the suggestions from our experts
Let your kid pick the food. Do not stop kids from having their preferred food. But give them limited options of goal food to choose from. This allows you to introduce new types of foods daily.
Next, you can engage your little one in preparing meals. Ask for help, like – “Could you please add these veggies to this soup?” or, “Could you please add a bit more salt?” Cut veggies, fruits and other necessary food items while your kid watches you. Make them curious about the foods or recipes. Or, another thing you can do is to ask for feedback. like- “How does this soup taste today?” Although they will not finish the soup, they will try and taste it. with time, they will eventually learn to finish the bowl.
Another little thing you can do is go to the market and buy some cute utensils that are safe for kids. Your kids will love them and you can serve different types of food in their favorite bowl.
In case your child prefers any specific shape- say for round-shaped food, you can introduce new types of foods in their preferred shape.
In short, you need to make the whole thing exciting and engaging for your kids so that they find interest in learning about other foods and even trying them out.
Picky eating habits for a longer period of time can be a little bit concerning matter. We suggest you book a consultation with nearby feeding therapists first.
You can directly consult our pediatric feeding specialists and discuss the picky eating habits of your kid. We can devise a fun-activity-based feeding therapy plan that you can try out even at home.