Parent Modeling: 5 Tips for Dealing with Fussy Eaters
As parents, it’s our job to ensure that our children are getting the nutrition they need, which can be difficult if they are fussy eaters. Parent modeling is an effective way to help teach children how to eat healthy, balanced meals. Here are some tips for using parent modeling to help deal with fussy eaters:
1. Show Your Kids You Enjoy Eating Healthy Foods
Children learn by example and observing how their parents eat can have a powerful impact on their own eating habits. Showing your children that you enjoy healthy foods and that you don’t necessarily have to eat unhealthy junk food all the time can help influence their choices.
2. Prepare Healthy Meals Together
Getting your children involved in the cooking process can make meals more enjoyable for them and can help them feel more interested in trying new foods. Invite your children to help pick out ingredients at the grocery store, and let them take part in the preparation process.
3. Avoid Excessive Rewards or Punishments
Using rewards or punishments to get your child to eat isn’t necessarily the best approach. Instead, emphasize how fun, tasty, and nourishing the food can be, and try to create an atmosphere of excitement and curiosity around meals.
4. Don’t Force Your Child to Eat Too Much
It’s important to give your child space to decide how much they want to eat. Forcing them to eat more than they want can create a negative association with food and can lead to overeating.
5. Don’t Give Up Too Easily
If your child is being especially stubborn about trying new foods, don’t give up. Keep offering a variety of different foods in small amounts and eventually your child may be more open to trying them.
Parent modeling is a powerful tool for helping encourage children to try healthy foods and make better eating decisions. With patience and consistency, you can help your fussy eater become more open to trying new foods.