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Pleasing the Picky Eater

As a rule, many children are picky with food. To make a child taste something new is an extremely difficult task.

Often, feeding a baby becomes a torture for the whole family. “ Youwon't leave the table until you eat your porridge.” And a baby lookingwith disgust at chilled food, tasteless even by sight, curses his parents and any food. Having such a baby, you feel like a restaurant head cook trying to please a capricious client. The reason for such behavior is a fear of everything new. Another extreme is when a baby insists on the same food every day. This also happens very often. And then, you start thinking that macaroni for breakfast, dinner and supper aren't very useful.

So what to do?

Any psychologist or a specialist in the field of child nourishment will tell you that force is inadmissible in everything that concerns food.

If you force your child to eat, he'll get a negative attitude toward food.

All this can lead to vomiting or intentional starvation.

The main thing that will help you to cope with a picky eater is patience.

It's important to know that some whims concerning food are absolutely common for small children and, consequently, quite normal.

Children need fewer calories than you may think. And this means that your child is most likely full while you think that he has only nibbled a little.

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Small children are confirmed separatists. They like to eat separately every sort of food. The food on a plate shouldn't get mixed or even touch another food. That's why children often don't want to eat soup or salad.

Although they like eating products composed of soup or salad. One solution is plates with separated sections. They are sold everywhere now.

Children don't want to try new or forgotten food. This doesn't mean that you should always eat the same. Just don't expect too much and don't teel upset if your child doesn't taste food at all.

How to make a child taste something new?

It's important that the food be known to your child. That's why to make a child eat unknown food for the first time is rather difficult. Put small helpings of unknown food on your child's plate for several days. It's better if there is also something your child likes very much. Never be cross with your child even if he doesn't touch a new product and don't insist on him tasting it. It's absolutely normal if he tastes new food and then takes it out of his mouth. Just be patient as it may take several months to teach your child to eat various food.

How to make a child eat more?

As compared with parent's expectations, children usually eat too little. A helping of food for a pre-school child is different from an adult portion. And it's of great importance not to make a child eat more, but to make his diet more healthy. A child should get food from every food group (cereals, meat, milk products, fruits and vegetables) every day. For example, if your child ate a lot of macaroni at dinner, don't give him carbohydrates in the evening. It's better to give him something containing protein (cheese, yogurt, etc). If your child gets healthy balanced nourishment, then allow him to define the quantity of food and the quantity of calories.

If your child eats little from birth, his height and weight are less than average, but he is still active, cheerful, rarely ill and a doctor doesn't find any deviations in mental or psychological development, then everything is normal. Grown ups are also very different and all have different appetites. It's absolutely prohibited to make a child eat food telling him that otherwise he won't get this or that dish. And the less you pay attention to the quantity of food eaten, the more interest your child will show in this dish.

From early childhood you should accustom your child to your family dinners. Naturally, your child should have his own place at the table. He should sit on his child chair but together with grown ups. Let your child participate in preparing dishes. Even a two-year-old child can help to mix a salad, lay spoons on the table or put a slice of sausage on bread.

This can help your child take a close look at food products. Besides, it's always much more interesting to try what has been prepared with one's own hands. If your child doesn't like vegetables, let him cut them and prepare a salad. Having prepared it without assistance, he may graciously taste several bites. Sometimes the child's appetite decreases during some period of his life.

Usually it's temporary and can be caused by psychological tension or various indispositions. Treat it calmly. During such periods, give your child his favorite dishes and make his helpings smaller. Even the sight of a full plate isn't pleasant. From these considerations don't put first and second courses together on the table. Give him what he wants to eat. Don’t worry! Soon his appetite will increase and he will ask for something else to eat. One more enemy of appetite is snacking.

Such meal kills appetite. It just has no time to develop. What to do, if a child didn't have breakfast at all? He must be hungry! Nothing dreadful will happen with a child since child will have lunch in three hours.

And soon after the breakfast you can offer him vegetable juice, a banana or an apple instead of chips and sweets. The main thing is that your behavior shouldn't look like a punishment. It's better to distract him with a game.

In contrast to generally accepted pieces of advice, meals beautifully served and prepared won't practically help you as it's rather difficult to trick a child. If the child doesn't like carrots, he will easily distinguish it among other foods. It’s a paradox, but changing the usual form of a food can help in such case. If your child doesn't like a cucumber cut in circles, don't insist. Wait a day and then offer him a cucumber cut in halves and slightly salted. If he likes neither, then offer him cucumbers in salad. There are a lot of variations. Just offer him healthy meals more often.

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