As a working mother, you have a million things to worry about throughout the course of each day. When one of your kids is a toddler and is a picky eater, that problem can tend to move right to the top of the list. After all, a child who’s coming up short on nutritional needs is a definite concern.
Luckily there are some easy ways by which you can encourage your picky eater to try different things and, eventually, develop some favorite foods which are also nutritionally healthy. Keep in mind that more children than not tend to be picky at that age and that you’re not failing as a mother if your kid is not immediately eating meals that cover every nutritional base right off the bat.
Toddlers present a lot of problems to working mothers, including how to deal with that endless stream of diapers in a responsible way. Here are some ideas for removing meal time from the list of things about which you have to worry.
Perhaps the best way to handle a toddler’s picky-eating problem is to offer them a wide range of possibilities when it comes to meal time. This is especially helpful when it comes to finger food, since it allows them to make the choices themselves and to have a measure of control over what they eat. This doesn’t mean you have to make five different meals every day. Just be ready with a range of healthy snacks to give your kid throughout the day.
Don’t Force It
Many parents become so stressed about feeding their children that they decide to give them the food whether they want it or not. Ask any adult who has been force-fed a certain food when they were a child and most likely they still have an aversion to that food as an adult. It’s better to go the other route and provide positive encouragement for when they do try something new. In that way, your child will see the benefits of eating right at an early age.
Keep It Brief
Once children learn to eat, they tend to be on the move non-stop. That means that they likely won’t want to stop very long to eat. So don’t expect them to sit down for dinner for a half hour with the rest of the family. Feed them first, have their meal ready to go as soon as they sit, and let them go when they’re ready to go. In that way, they’ll see dinner or any meal as a positive experience. Plus, as a working mother who’s always on the go, keeping these meals quick and easy will give you more time as well.
Every Child Is Different
There are many methods to use for getting picky kids to eat right. It may take some time for you to find the right one. Just remember to be patient with them and with yourself, and your child will find his or her way to a healthy diet.
Written by Natalie Bracco for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.