Not a lot of us are too sure about why our children develop eating habits and become fussy eaters. There are different theories and discussions about why this frustrating habit occurs but in the end, there is no definitive answer as to why children suddenly – rather than gradually – become fussy eaters. We all know that when our children were young, babies even, that they would attempt to eat pretty much anything that we would put in front of them or give to them. Then, suddenly, one day when we give our children their lunch or breakfast or dinner, they reject the food in front of them – leaving us confused and (we all have to admit it) a bit frustrated that all our hard work in preparing and cooking their food has gone to waste.
When a child refuses food, it is very easy to open the fridge and give them their favorite snacks such as raspberries, strawberries, yogurts or cheese. But, in the hope of fending off any more potential fussy eating, we must stick to the food we had initially given to them and we should not give in even when a temper tantrum ensues. Yes, it can be difficult and even heartbreaking to see your child upset but one bit of determination from you can lead to happier eating times and less frustration and less wasted food – which can also save you a lot of money.
Children do tend to learn things very quickly and when they develop fussy eating habits, it may be because they have seen you take a bite out of a chocolate bar, or you have just eaten one of the foods that they like whilst you were preparing their meal. Once they know the food that they like is available, they may start to get irritated and frustrated that you are not giving to them and refuse the food you have prepared.
A good way of eliminating any eating habits which you do not approve of is to remove the meal that your child is refusing and blend it up using a food processor so it will be easier to eat for your child. If you have not got a processor, you may want to do some research on what ones would work best for you on healthybutsmart.com. Once your child’s food is blended up, you could pretend to put their favorite snacks or smaller foods into their bowl or onto their plate so that they will think that they will want to eat now that the food they wanted is in there. You could also pretend to eat a bit of their food, giving your approval as to how good it tastes. There is almost a complete guarantee that they will want to try, and attempt to eat, their meal after that. A parent’s approval for a child is always a good thing which they will seek.
Fussy eating habits can also stem from your child spending a lot of time with other children. If they see another child being fussy, they can easily pick up on it and will attempt to try it with you – to see if it will work.
However, when a child develops fussy eating habits, they will not last forever. Most habits in a child wane away after a few months (even though some particular habits can last for longer) and as your child grows up, becomes more mature, and experiences more things in life, they will no longer dislike certain foods that they used to reject. Think of foods that you used to dislike when you were younger. They probably comprised of a lot of fruit and vegetables and exotic tasting dishes which your taste buds were not used to. But, now, you probably love all that stuff and have done for years.
As a parent, it is important that our children do not overpower us and that we are sure that we have control over their eating habits, diet, and health. Poor eating habits can result in slow energy, weight gain and can even affect mental capacity. Ensure your child eats a varied and diverse diet with plenty of vitamins to enable them to be healthy and free of any potential diet-related illnesses. All parents have to deal with children who are fussy eaters at some point, so when it happens be aware that there are other parents out there going through the same frustrating time as you and will probably be taking the same steps.