Fussing about food
THE DOS AND DON’TS OF DEALING WITH A PICKY EATER
As someone who writes about food for a living, one of my worst nightmares is travelling with a six- year- old picky eater, in other words my beloved nephew. Recently, I was responsible for babysitting him during a family trip to Semarang. When meal times came, he stubbornly refused to eat in a non-air-conditioned restaurant, pushed aside all the vegetables on his plate, and turned his nose up at soup. If you think that’s bad enough, taking him on a trip when he was even younger was an ordeal. He insisted on eating either Indonesian- style fried chicken with rice or bread with chocolate spread. Offer him anything else and he would throw a tantrum. Therefore, it has been an achievement for us – as a family – to transform my nephew into a less picky boy. It goes without saying that we’re not the only family who has had to deal with a fussy eater. According to the Ask Dr Sears website, kids – more specifically toddlers– are naturally picky. This is because when reaching the age of one, a child’s body needs less food. Furthermore, a child at that age has trouble sitting still long enough to enjoy food. Here are two simple but important tips to help turn your kid from a fussy eater into a food feaster.
Firstly and most importantly, do not pressure your child to eat. According to Melinda Wenner Moyer on Slate’s website, forcing your children to eat causes stress. Furthermore, threatening or bribing them only encourages a stand-off to prove who can be the more stubborn.
Claire Potter in an article titled ”Is Your Child a Fussy Eater? Here’s What Not to Say” suggests that parents offer a wide variety of meals and say nothing. Obviously, this takes patience, but it’s better in the long run since your child won’t see that refusing to eat has an effect on you. Demonstrate that you enjoy the food yourself. Keep the vibes positive at the dining table. And sooner or later, your kid will be ready to explore more flavours. –