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Feeding Fussy Eaters: more ways to boost kids' nutrition

Feeding Fussy Eaters: more ways to boost kids' nutrition | Mr Vitamins
Great ideas for good nutrition are usually simple. To follow up on this important topic of Feeding Fussy Eaters, Nutritionist Karen Ball shares more smart and simple ways to make food fun. Meal times really can be a pleasure rather than a battlefield…
  • Involve kids in the process: from grocery shopping, growing your own food in the garden, choosing the veggies for dinner, or helping out in the kitchen.  Talk to your children about where food comes from and appeal to their natural inquisitive nature.
  • Make food fun:  What toddler doesn’t want to try a ‘green monster smoothie’ or a star shaped sandwich?  Think outside the square… normal oats can become ‘princess pink porridge’ with the addition of frozen berries stirred through, chopped up fruit can be displayed as a colourful rainbow, or eggs can be fried in a capsicum slice ‘flower’.
  • Don’t offer junk or processed foods full of rubbish:  A child will only eat those foods if they are available and on offer.  Be creative – hamburgers, chicken nuggets and oven chips can all be made home-made relatively easily and still be full of nutrition without all the nasty preservatives and additives.
  • Encourage independence: allow your child to help in the kitchen with preparation, to serve some of their own meal at the table, and to use utensils by themselves.  Taking ownership and responsibility of their meal helps them to foster healthy eating habits from an early age.
  • Be persistent: new flavours and tastes may take up to 10 times of trying until they are accepted, so gently offer new foods to your child at meal times in a non-forceful manner and encourage them to try.  A star sticker chart for ‘trying’ may be a good incentive, with a small treat (non-food based), outing or special mummy or daddy time after 10 stars have been achieved.  There are some great templates on the internet to print out and use.  This method of positive reinforcement may also be used for doing simple tasks around the house, getting ready in the morning, or spending each night in bed.
  • Be consistent: if a child rejects food or plays up, calmly remove the food from the table and announce the end of the meal.  Do not offer alternatives or snacks after the meal else your child may associate bad behaviour with alternative options and parents ‘giving in’.
Remember that no child will ever choose to starve themselves, and given the right foods and positive environment they will develop healthy and long lasting eating habits. Be sure to check out Part One of Feeding Fussy Eaters...

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