If your children are picky eaters, bribing or pressuring them will probably backfire.
But there are other steps you can take to help them get over their fussiness, researchers report.
Australian scientists reviewed 80 studies to find out more about fussy eaters.
What works for a picky eater?
They found that pressuring a child to eat, offering rewards for eating and stricter parenting methods didn’t help. But a relaxed parenting style works better.
The following can reduce the odds of fussy eating:
1. Eating together as a family
“Eating together as a family, with siblings, and having a single meal at a regular time all helped reduce food fussiness. Yet if fussy eaters were allowed to eat in front of the TV, or if they were rewarded for eating certain foods, these behaviors negatively influenced picky children,” researcher Laine Chilman says.
2. Involving children in preparing food
“Some families have kids who turn their noses up at any vegetable. Others are dealing with kids who dislike certain textures or colors of food. Some of these preferences relate to a child’s characteristics or personality, which are difficult to change, if at all. But others are external factors that could help reduce fussy eating in kids,” Chilman shares.
Getting your fussy child involved in the meal, either by helping to choose the menu or helping to prepare the meal can