If an adult or a child frequently refuses food and opts to eat the same food over and over again, he is referred to be a picky eater. Mostly toddlers and preschool children are observed to show this behavior.
However, if you have family history of food allergy or asthma, it is vital to introduce your child to certain food items such as peanuts, etc. We have some easy recipes to introduce peanuts to your child’s diet.
What are the types of picky eaters?
Picky eaters usually fall on a broad spectrum. They range from average to extreme picky eaters. Here, we are going to discuss only the edges of the spectrum.
Average picky eaters
Toddlers are naturally inclined towards seeking autonomy and using the word ‘no’. This behavior when adopted in the matter of eating leads to picky eating. These types of eaters are not problematic for themselves or the family.
How to identify an average picky eater
The following points will provide you the clue:
- They are highly selective when it comes to eating and, usually, prefer to eat from around 30 groups of foods and will consistently eat from.
- They eat inconsistently meaning thereby that they will eat more at one time and less at the other.
- They will want a specific food for a certain period of time.
- It may happen that they suddenly stop eating something they liked previously.
- Although they eat with the family, their food preferences may differ at times.
- Over time, they add more food items to their preference list.
How average picky eaters are affected
It seems that they will lack in physical, emotional or psychological growth and development. However, the good news is, this is not the case. They go through proper development. Moreover, they are able to maintain good social relationships.
Extreme picky eaters
They are also called problem feeders and really affect themselves and their families.
Identifying extreme picky eating
These kinds of eaters have the following characteristics:
- They may refuse a whole class of food.
- They show aggressive behavior on seeing the food they don’t like.
- There may be an occasional attempt on their part to lose weight.
- They eat entirely different from the rest of the family.
- They stop eating a food item they previously liked and will never eat that again.
- It is difficult for them to add on to their preferred foods.
How they are affected
Problem feeders may have delayed growth and development. Furthermore, they are not emotionally stable and constantly create a bothering situation for their families. With the passage of time they become socially isolated because of their aggressive behavior.
How to deal with picky eaters
Here, we have some simple tips to cope with picky eaters
Manage a dining routine
Try to have a schedule for meals and make the whole family sit together and enjoy the meal at that time. Avoid the use of gadgets at that specific time.
Don’t force your toddler
If your baby refuses to eat something, do not mess with them. Try something else.
Manage to introduce the foods that may be allergenic
Certain foods are more likely to cause allergies. This is worrisome to spot such foods for picky eaters. However, there is a new early allergen introduction system developed by an allergist-mom and designed for all babies, even picky eaters.
Don’t stop trying
The key to success is never giving up. If your baby refuses a certain food in one form at one occasion, he might like it in another form at another time. For example, he might not like boiled potatoes but you can replace it with French fries. So, you can try different shapes and forms of one kind of food item and can introduce new foods to your child.
Don’t offer treats
If you bribe your child with treats, you are certainly not helping yourself. This can make the food rewards more attractive and they are likely to become even pickier.