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Dealing With Picky Eaters? How To Get Them Eating without Losing Your Mind

by | April 1, 2019

Toddlers (and even some adults like me) are normatively picky eaters. As if the supreme has endowed them with a mission to nitpick veggies from a plate. And no matter how much heroic power you attach with the veggies, kids turn out wiser than ever, and they escape the health benefits. You as a parent find it intolerable. Read on to know more on how to get the way around. And, please make sure your kid is not reading this somehow (you know why).

picky eaters
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Dealing with the Picky Eaters

Having kids swallow certain veggies can be like undertaking a mission to Mars. Okay, if that is too exaggerated, making kids eat vegetables is surely like subscribing to a NASA mission. Come on; it is difficult! No doubt in that. After you try all your best in landing a beautiful looking vegan dish with all the nutrients plan wise incorporated, the kid, who often wears opinion right on its sleeves, will shoot a comment that’ll instantly sink your heart. But rest assured. You can do a few tricks to prove (at least yourself) that you are the mom or dad to your kid.  

As a vegan, it is essential your kid consumes the needful foods that’ll aid in his growth. Toddlers especially need nutrients as they’re growing rapidly in that age. This feeding thing isn’t a fight but challenge, and you, as a parent have to ensure the right nutrient is delivered anyhow. Here are steps you can try:

1. At first, go with the flow

Kids are incredibly smart, and they’ll right away catch you practicing any bypass methods to feed them veggies and foods they don’t like. Those, ‘hiding vegetables beneath foods,’ ‘telling story and feeding’ are thing of past. Now try- go with the flow.

The idea is to make your picky eaters feel comfortable with foods you serve and then make them eat healthy foods. If they don’t like, say for example, spinach, don’t give it. Instead, give foods it likes. Continue for sometimes and let your child get comfortable eating them. Once you’ve managed to garner trust, sorry to say but now you’ve to break it for good. Gradually, in the food your child enjoys the most, mixes it with the healthy options.

Say, for example, if your kid enjoys almond milk with cocoa powder, you can jolly well finely crush (or juice) a few leaves of spinach and add it to the milk. But keep in mind not to do this right away. You’ve got to feed him the drink in his way several times before he unknowingly eat the healthier version. In this case, without changing the color and flavor (to most extent) you’ve made the vegan milk many time fortified with nutrients. And Congo, you just fed your child (it’s much hated) spinach. This is just a pointer. You might come up with an even better idea, and share with us.

2. Being presentable. Tickling their fancy!

You’ve to tickle kid’s fancies to tickle their fancy! Well, it means to have them eat veggies they don’t prefer (yet you know it needs that), you have got to make sure the hate-factor (it could be anything, from taste to texture) is omitted (if not omitted, hidden at least) to the most extent. For example, if your child doesn’t prefer steamed broccoli, steam it, and then stir-fry it with a little dash of soy sauce and tomato ketchup. If the child doesn’t prefer broccoli for its flavor, adding ketchup and soy sauce will add zing and tang, making it interesting.

picky eaters
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Similarly, if your picky eaters don’t prefer sweet potatoes, making a simple patty with boiled sweet potato, vegan bread crumbs and other spices and make a full-fledged burger out of it (with kale, and other greens) and serve? You know your child best, and you are free to creatively explore the extent of your cooking skills and kitchen. Just a tip- serving kids in compartmentalized plate’s grab their attention and they eat comfortably.

3. Involve your kid in the making foods and using their innate compassion

Involve your child in preparing foods. For example, if your child doesn’t like to eat carrots, then bake a vegan cake or some vegan cookies with your child assisting you. Use shredded carrot as an ingredient. Let’ accept that kids love stories, and you can simply make a story how a little carrot (in case you want to feed carrot) fought with other veggies to end up in his/her (your child’s) cake. You’ll find them interested. So, involving them in making, at the same time verbally perusing him will work both ways.

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The idea can be explored multifariously with diverse ingredients. As you tell them a melancholic tale of a pity veggie (or fruit or anything he doesn’t like) that cried or fought a lot to end up in his/her stomach, your child will eat the same out of pity for the (poor) food. I know it is simply exploiting their good nature, but you know the reason, right? Just another tip- avoid cooking on short order. You don’t want to make a habit of feeding your kid whatever he likes. Be patient and stick to the same routine of diet even if he sometimes skips.

4. Minimize Distractions and Avoid Rewarding Foods

Don’t let your kiddo watch television or play video games while eating. In one hand, while watching TV it may not bother what food you’ve given and it will end up nibbling even what he hates. On the other hand, television averts might instigate the desire to eat unhealthy foods.

In the same way, if you have a habit of rewarding your child with sweets or desserts and less nutritious foods, you are making him believe such foods are superior thereby increasing his appetite for such foods. Therefore, you’ve got to check that.

These were a few tips I could share. As vegans, ensuring kids eat the right nutrient is especially important. Don’t worry too much if your toddler is a fuzzy eater. With the growing of age, it will automatically go. In the meanwhile try these and let me know how well you pulled off, in the comments below.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]


Categories: Parenting


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