Want to encourage your fussy eater to eat their veggies (or just eat in general at the dinner table?) Try one of these strategies:
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Focus on eating your meal and not on your child “not eating” their meal. Giving attention to the child who is not eating could potentially be rewarding their behaviour of not eating.
Give them time to eat, and if they haven’t eaten anything, ask if they have finished and take the plate away (if they are hungry later you could offer a healthy snack, or go old school and package up the food and serve it to them when they are hungry later).
If your child is particularly fussy with their food preferences (provided there isn’t a medical reason) there are things you can do to help encourage them to try different foods.
One way is to ask your child to help you prepare meals (they can help with things like, setting the table, getting the plates, pouring a drink of water, choosing whether to sit inside or outside to eat etc.).
Give them positive reinforcement for helping, for example:
Thank you for helping me prepare dinner
and let them know you are looking forward to eating with them
I can’t wait for us to sit down and eat this delicious dinner together!
When children are part of the process of preparing the meal, they are much more likely to eat it, and they start to develop an appreciation for the effort that goes into preparing the meal for the family.
Children are more likely to eat (and particularly more likely to choose healthy options) when they have a variety of healthy options to choose from.
Rather than offering the same foods over and over, try making available a good variety of healthy foods that they can choose from.
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