Honestly, start here and check in with the family doctor. You don’t want to overlook a medical issue that might be an easy fix.
Have you noticed any problems after your child eats certain foods such as stomach aches, allergy reactions? ie: redness, itching, swelling, coughing. How about a big behavior change after eating a certain food? Mention these to your doctor.
This is a little harder than it sounds, so let me break it down a little bit.
Plan your 3 meal schedule each day and put a regular time with each meal if you don’t already.
We are so busy and creating a schedule can take some work. Having a specific time to eat each meal will trigger hunger around the meal time and hopefully increase appetite.
Offer small amounts of carbs, proteins, fruit and a favorite food at each meal.
Spend time eating together and enjoy your food together.
Have a core food list. You know the one I mean. Your kid can’t live without these foods list. Definitely offer these foods at meal time.
New foods don’t have to be scary, but let’s introduce them slowly.
Pick 1 new food that your child currently isn’t eating.
Start with a teeny serving…..and introduce a few bites. The trick here is patience. Stay calm relaxed and detached from the outcome. It’s not personal. Keep trying.
Not feeling calm? Fake it. Keep this in perspective.
In other words don’t make the dinner table a battlefield. You just won’t get the results you want. Practice introducing the new food, encouraging, praising, but in the end don’t let them see you stress.
We understand the world through our senses. Although playing with food tends to be a no-no, why not have a fun food night to experience a new food or two through all the senses?
Try hands on the food approach. Let them touch, smell, explore new foods and integrate these senses into their eating experience.
Could you find fun cookie cutters to create shapes?
Blending (think smoothies with healthy ingredients)
Ask your child if they have a few ideas to make food more fun. You might be surprised!
Make the introduction of a new food (1 at a time please) a big deal. Have music, decorations (Dollar Store) and fun.
If trying this new food falls flat, it’s okay. Roll with it and try again on another day.
Don’t be surprised if you have to keep introducing this new food before you see a glimmer of acceptance.
Change takes time.
Remember what your end game is here. You are slowly expanding your child’s eating menu.
Diet will be an ever widening circle and you don’t need to hurry.
Keep your sense of humor handy and your need for control checked.
You got this mom, you really do!