How to entice my Picky Toddler to eat Nutritious Foods?

Picky Toddler
It is a well known fact that most babies are picky eaters. From the time they are weaned off mother's milk they develop certain aversions to specific foods. This is completely normal and natural, and a new mother and father should not be surprised if the foods they love are not equally favored by their toddler.

Being a picky eater may initially begin as an aversion to hot or cold, a dislike of the texture, or a complaint about the flavor. Foods that are high in vitamins include broccoli, meat, asparagus, and apples. These are not always well received by babies, since they are often served warmed and have unique textures.

Being a picky eater has its disadvantages. It is important for children to get all the vitamins and nutrients (10 nutrients that every child needs) possible so that they do not drop below the average body mass index for a toddler. Proper nutrition is vital for all babies.

If a new mother or father wants their child to grow up with a healthy appetite for all things edible, it is important to train their child to enjoy these foods from an early age. Scientists theorize that it takes no less than six attempts to introduce food to a child before the child will begin to eat it. This does not mean that a mother can train her child to love peas in one sitting. Instead, it will take at least six separate meals to entice the child to eat peas.

There are several ways that a parent can trick their child into trying foods for the first time. The first method is by mimicking. A parent will pick up a cooked carrot, eat it in front of the child, and say yummy! Then the parent will offer the carrot to the baby. This method should be repeated often until the child either tries it for itself, or loses interest.

The second method of getting a picky child to eat is through distraction. If a parent is feeding a baby apple sauce, he or she may want to distract the baby and slip in a spoonful of cooked peas. More than likely the baby will spit the peas out, but that is to be expected. Continue to feed, distract, and feed, and the child will begin to accept what is on the spoon after several meals like this. This is not a failsafe method, however. Often the child will refuse to continue eating. At this point it is best to take a break from feeding, remove all traces of dinner, and play games for 15 minutes instead.

The third method is camouflage. If a baby enjoys macaroni and cheese, begin chopping small bits of broccoli up and mix them with the shells. This will coat the broccoli until it tastes like macaroni, and if the broccoli is small enough, the child will not realize they are eating it. Slowly over many meals the amount of broccoli can be increased until the child is eating cheese on broccoli, instead of macaroni. This method of mixing food with macaroni and cheese is not to be tried with stronger tasting foods, such as beets or asparagus. This works mainly on milder foods, such as potatoes and cabbages.

The third method is to create a routine. One bite of spaghetti, one bite of asparagus. One bite of spaghetti, another bite of asparagus. This creates and establishes a rhythm for feeding time. The biggest mistake a parent can make when using this method is to allow the child to spit out his or her food and then give them the bite of tasty food, which thus rewards the child for spitting. This method is also easier to use on older toddlers who can be reasoned with better and understand that mommy wants you eat a bite of asparagus before you have another bite of spaghetti.

These methods are by no means instantly successful. Parents should use every option available to them to encourage the child to eat healthy foods. Starches should be limited, and carbs, too. Sugars should be provided very rarely since they can affect the child's attention span and make them sick.

Every parent wants their child to be healthy and to grow up strong. Proper nutrition is the key to this, and it begins at home, with mom and dad (How to give your child a healthy start to life).

Written By: Rebecca Sara Marie Goldenberg, United States

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice