Boston Children’s Museum’s Tasty Tuesday program happens every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. During Tasty Tuesday, children and their grown-ups can sit together, eat yummy, healthy snacks, and read a story! Although Tasty Tuesday is a casual, fun circle time for the very little ones, it’s packed with a lot of tips and hints that help foster healthy social emotional development of infants and toddlers. While the children are having fun, adults can also get helpful tip sheets. This month, we are talking about picky eating, which is very common among young children.
Join us in PlaySpace and share your own experience in helping children eat all their healthful food!
- Do not stress.
Yes, children should be eating a lot of different kinds of food. However, if meal time is stressful, children get less and less interested in eating. Even if your child does not eat what you serve, do not bribe or force your child to eat it. Just say, “Not a big deal,” and you can try again some other time. It might just take several attempts until your child gets familiar with the food.
- Stick to a routine.
If food is available all the time, your child will not be hungry enough to try out new food. Set up a time for snack and meal times and do not serve too much food. Especially, avoid sugary snacks, juice, and over feeding milk, which makes little bellies very full!
- Find out why your child is not eating certain food.
You would think that your child is not eating certain food because of its taste, but for many children, they don’t like the texture, smell, or even color. Is there any pattern among the foods that your child refuses to eat? For example, steaming carrots, instead of serving them raw, could solve all of the issues. Also, it is possible that your child is mildly allergic to what he or she does not like to eat. Young children cannot always communicate that they do not feel good after eating something. If you think that is a possibility, talk to your pediatrician.
- Let your child participate.
Even a one-year-old can help you pick out some vegetables at the store and can rip some lettuce and put it in a big bowl. Let your child help you prepare a meal and be proud of eating his or her own creation!
- Make food and eating fun!
Arrange food so that the plate looks like a face. Use cookie cutters to make food in different shapes. Decorate a plate or a cup with your child. Fun plates can make eating a lot more inviting!