How to get my toddler to eat well?
Early childhood is a critical period for the cultivation of healthy dietary habits. How to make children eat well has become the most concerning issue for parents. In order to help the parents seize this critical period, we will tell you from a psychological perspective what you can do to help your children develop good dietary habits and establish a healthy life awareness from an early age.
Help children set reasonable small goals
Sometimes, the baby will be "frightened" by the bunch of food in front of him.
Big goals can easily make people flinch, but small goals can give people motivation.
We can knead a certain amount of rice and side dishes into several small rice balls, give each rice ball a name with your baby, and then eat them up one by one in the order of their names.
You can also refer to this method by cutting a whole fruit, such as apples and kiwis, into several small pieces before giving them to children.
Teach children to be friends with food
After 8 months of age, the baby's "taste sensitive period" starts. At this time, the baby almost won’t eat anything new food. This phenomenon is called "anti-newness" and it will last until 4 to 5 years old and gradually fade away.
Therefore, in this age group, if the child can accept rich taste stimulation in a pleasant state as soon as possible, the child will gradually transition from refusing to accepting different foods. Of course, the method is also very important.
We can arrange the food into a vivid and interesting picture to attract children's attention. Dilute the insecurities in taste through visual novelty.
In addition, we can also make up some tricks for food, so that children can experience extra fun during the eating process.
If mothers who want their children to eat some nutritious fruits, such as kiwis, might as well let their children do like this:
First, touch the kiwi fruit and get familiar with the furry touch → squeeze the soft and fat body of the kiwi fruit ---- open the kiwi fruit to find different colors → taste the sweet and delicious taste of the kiwi fruit.
In this way, children can slowly accept eating new foods.
Create a good eating situation
Parents should be careful not to force children to eat certain foods.
It is easy for children to connect a good mood with food. If the children are in a happy mood at the dinner table, then the good mood will be projected on the food, and they will have a better impression of the food.
Vice versa. I have a friend who hates eating celery the most. The reason is that when he was a child, he had a bad experience with eating celery.
In other words, if mothers want their children to eat well-balanced and healthy food, they must first start by creating a beautiful "eating situation." When the baby is in a happy mood, he is more likely to accept healthy foods that taste bad.
How to create it? Grasp these 4 elements:
1. The right food size
Due to limited mouth shape and swallowing ability, babies under 3 years old often have special requirements for the size and hardness of the food.
In many cases, babies will reject and dislike certain foods or even not eating well because they can't put a mouthful into them or have difficulty swallowing.
Therefore, food processing is particularly important.
For example, vegetables, meat, etc., need to be cut into a size suitable for the baby’s mouth. Hard biscuits and pastries can be soaked in warm water and served to your baby.
When choosing fruits, you can choose delicate, soft, and easy-to-eat fruits, such as kiwis and strawberries.
2. Choose tableware
It is very important for your baby to use the comfortable tableware that he loves.
Choosing cutlery with cute shapes and bright colors can arouse your baby's interest in eating.
Choosing anti-fall and easy-to-grip tableware can help children improve their self-confidence and sense of accomplishment when eating by themselves, and let him fully experience the joy of eating!
3.Focus on table culture
The so-called table culture is certain habits and fixed patterns when the whole family eats together. This kind of culture is often initiated by parents, and children are the shadow of their parents.
For example, you want your children to eat vegetables and a balanced diet, but the parents are "carnivores." So, affected by this, most children will be unhappy to eat vegetables.
In addition, don't let your children "eat alone."
Because parents are afraid that their children will "not focus on eating", they take the measure that after the children finish eating, the parents come to the table. But you will find that babies who eat alone are more likely to be picky eaters and are unwilling to eat independently. They will strongly ask their parents to feed.
Because "eating alone" will make children lose the pleasure and sense of security of eating.
Therefore, we recommend that the children and adults eat together, in the harmonious dining atmosphere of the whole family, learning how adults eat and understanding the diet structure of the family is a good opportunity to cultivate good eating habits for children.
If the child needs extra meals, parents can adopt "parallel companionship" on the premise that they can eat independently: let the child eats by themselves, and the adult can do things nearby, without paying too much attention or letting the child "eat alone."
4. Use healthy food as a reward
To build up a child's goodwill towards healthy food, the main thing is to start with the mother's choice.
If someday, you want to reward your child's taste buds. It is better to reward your children with a colorful and healthy outdoor fruit picnic, which may be more sensible than taking the children to eat potato chips, fried chicken and other high-calorie foods.
During the picnic, mothers can choose healthy and delicious foods, and slowly build up the relationship between their children and these foods, such as sweet and sour strawberries, delicious kiwifruit, etc., without worrying about calories, and at the same time helping children to replenish nutrition.
Establish a connection between a good life and healthy food. Since then, these healthy foods have become the endorsement of good memories.
This is the smart choice for mom to get the best of both worlds.
Children are always the shadows of adults, and are greatly influenced by their parents in all aspects of personality, habits, behavior, thinking and language, and so on.
If you feel stressed about eating, your child will also be stressed.
There is no need to deliberately suppress the child's desires, respect the child's feelings, stand in the child's perspective, and use some small skills is great wisdom.
Let your child maintain a relaxed and happy mood when eating, and he may be more willing to embrace healthy eating habits.