Lead By Example – your children will love eating the same foods as you, so make sure you are practicing what you preach. It is many times harder to get a child to eat a food that you yourself will not eat.
Reward charts – if your child needs to increase their vegetable intake, for example, set that as a goal for them and allow them to track their progress on a reward chart. Make sure rewards are NOT food-related – it could be them choosing a weekend activity, selecting their favourite film to watch, or having a friend over.
Gradual change – make the diet changes slowly. Introduce a ‘Vegetable of the Week’ and eat it 3 times, each time cooked in a different way or served with a different meal. What your child may dislike roasted, they could really like steamed.
Make your own versions – fish fingers, pies, sauces and soups can all be made at home with less time and effort than people imagine. By doing this, you know the quality of the ingredients that are in the finished product and can avoid any hidden nasties.
Special cups and plates – make meal time fun with special children’s cups and plates. Encourage water drinking by investing in a colourful cup with a bendy straw. Buy a few different plates and let your child ‘discover’ which one it is by eating the food on the plate.
Involve your child in selecting, cooking and growing – your child will be much more likely to try a new food or meal if they have been involved in the selecting, cooking or growing of it. Take your child shopping with you and allow them to pick some fresh food of their choice, or find the ones on your list. Get them to help wash the vegetables, count out the number of each you need, and do other age-appropriate jobs.
Teach the benefits – make sure your child understands the importance of healthy food. Teach them that a healthy diet will allow them to grow up to be strong and full of energy. For teenage girls, remind them that a good diet improves skin and hair condition. For sports-mad children, explain that all their energy comes from the foods they choose to eat.
While you build these steps into your family routine, you’ll want to make sure that your fussy eating child is receiving all the nutrients they need from their diet. For this purpose, I recommend MannaBears. MannaBears are made from the phytonutritional goodness of 10 different dehydrated fruits and vegetables, but taste just like sweets! Children and adults alike love them, and you can get 20% off – and a 100% money back guarantee – here.