Many parents have the same worries, and their babies are really picky about food: some are determined not to drink milk, some are determined not to eat eggs, some pout at the sight of tofu, and some vomit at the sight of mutton… On the contrary, the so-called [junk] foods, such as biscuits, cakes, candies, sweet drinks, potato chips… are almost all babies’ natural favorites.
Childhood diet is the basis of life-long taste formation, and children who are picky about food as children are likely to let this bad habit last for a lifetime, affecting their lifelong health. The direct consequence of rejecting many healthy foods rich in nutrition and favoring foods high in fat and sugar is that children are unbalanced in nutrition, emaciated or obese.
So, why is the baby picky about food? How can change their habits?
Seven Reasons for Baby’s Partial Eating
1. Taste preference due to eating sweet food in advance
This is the most common reason why young children are picky about food. Babies are far more sensitive to taste buds than adults. They can drink sweet taste even from breast milk that adults feel tasteless. In fact, too much salt is toxic to infants’ immature kidneys, condiments such as monosodium glutamate and chicken essence can also interfere with infants’ amino acid balance, and adding sugar is also harmful to nutrition balance.
Therefore, babies under one year old do not need to give any salt and sugar, and eat the light and original taste of food directly. Parents should try all kinds of light and natural food for their babies step by step from 6 months onwards, so as to cultivate children to naturally accept the original taste of food.
2. Taste preference for food affected by environment
Another of the most important reasons for children’s partial eating is the influence of the surrounding environment. All kinds of discussions about food by people around them will inadvertently make children have all kinds of views on food.
For example, children do not have discrimination, It is also particularly vulnerable to peer influence. Interesting advertisements for various snacks on TV, Children can easily accept it all. For example, If parents don’t like to eat vegetables, children are also easy to alienate from vegetables. If parents and relatives have partial eating phenomenon, and this kind of behavior is recognized and tolerated by others, then the baby will take it for granted, and even think that this is a way to show that they are different and get more attention.
3. Disgusting because the food tastes too strong.
As mention earlier, Compared with adults, Children’s taste is more sensitive, which also means they are more sensitive to the special smell and taste of food. Some adults think that the strong flavor food [delicious] may be too intense for young children to instinctively refuse. This is probably the main reason why foods with unique flavor such as garlic sprouts, celery, coriander and green pepper are repugnant.
Therefore, before children go to school, especially in the early childhood of 1 ~ 3 years old, they should be prepared with food that tastes lighter than that of adults, and they need not be forced to accept food with pungent smell immediately.
4. Disgusting with improper cooking
Nowadays, many parents’ cooking standards are often not satisfactory, and it is no wonder that children do not like it. Some children think that some kind of food cooked at home is not delicious and refuse to eat it all the time, but one day they will probably accept another way to eat this kind of food in other people’s homes or restaurants.
Therefore, parents do not have to conclude that their children hate a certain dish just because they refuse to eat it. They should distinguish the two concepts of [this dish is not delicious] and [this food does not like to eat].
5. Food is not in line with children’s interests,
At the same time, Babies are also very sharp in touch and vision. They like those beautiful and small foods. Lack of interest in things that are too large in shape and dim in color. If the baby feels that it is too difficult to eat and cannot eat it all, it will be afraid of difficulties. Some producers of children’s food have grasped these characteristics of children and made them [fondle admiringly] for some small snacks.
Therefore, making food for children should be small and lovely, and can be grasped by hand or eaten in one bite. Many smart mothers make their children’s dinner plates interesting, making eggs into the sun, vegetables into grass, carrots into flowers, so that the eating process becomes lively and interesting, and it is easier for children to eat with relish.
6. Emotional factors lead to likes and dislikes
Children may also dislike certain foods because of some negative emotions. For example, at the dinner table, children are reprimanded for not eating certain foods, which is likely to make them dislike such foods. And if parents use certain foods as rewards, It is likely to make them like this kind of food more. People on TV eat certain foods, It is also possible to arouse children’s interest in this kind of food. For example, Popeye eats spinach, which makes tens of millions of children readily accept spinach. Therefore, try not to associate food with some negative emotions, but to praise the advantages of baby’s love of eating a variety of foods, so that baby can realize the positive energy brought by food.
7. Disgusted by eating uncomfortable food
In a few cases, the baby does feel oral or gastrointestinal discomfort after eating certain foods, which will instinctively express antipathy. Therefore, parents do not need to force their children to eat certain foods, but should closely observe their children’s reactions, especially foods that may cause allergy or mucosal damage.
When the child is stronger and older, there are still many opportunities to accept food that was not acceptable.
Ways to Improve Baby’s Partial Eating
If you want your children not to be partial to food or picky about food, the most important thing is a good eating atmosphere. To do this, parents need to have good eating habits and correct eating concepts, and be good at creating a relaxed eating environment.
1. Give food a fair status
Parents’ attitude towards food should be rational and fair, not picky about food or partial to food. Never say that what food is high and what food is low. Nor does it say that what’s food is delicious and what’s food is bad. If the dishes are really bad, it can only be said that the cooking is inappropriate, and the food itself cannot be derogated from.
2. Explain the relationship between food and health
Educate children from an early age to understand a truth: A healthy diet can cultivate healthy people. If you don’t pay attention to eating, it is difficult to grow into a beautiful and intelligent person. Combine not being picky about food with the goals that children pay attention to, such as growing tall, having strength, becoming beautiful, etc. With appropriate examples to prove the harm of not eating well, they will be more likely to accept these principles.
3. Involve children in food production
If children know more about food, they will have psychological identification with food and reduce their prejudice against many foods. For example, children can go to supermarkets with their parents to buy vegetables, help adults choose vegetables and wash vegetables, and older children can also make cold dishes themselves … These are all very good dietary education.
4. Avoid the interference of others’ partial eating and picky eating.
If there are people around you who are picky about food, Parents can talk about these things with a disapproving attitude, and at the same time make sure that their children will not do so. If other children are greedy for junk food, they should point out with a critical attitude that the food is of low value. You can also give examples of children who have good eating habits and praise their good habits.
5. Treat children’s picky eating behavior calmly.
If the child does not eat certain foods, neither make a fuss, criticize too much, make the child produce resistance, nor connive at affirmation, strengthen picky eating behavior. This kind of food should continue to be a part of the table, but parents can ask: Do you think this dish is not delicious in what? Then promise the child to cook better next time.
6. Improve home cooking methods
Many foods are rejected because of improper cooking methods in the family. Parents may as well learn cooking skills and cut the food smaller for their children to eat. Make the food more delicious and put it in more beautiful utensils. As long as the food tastes soft and looks lovely, children are usually willing to accept it.
7. Help Children Analyze Food Advertisements
Children have strong herd mentality and curiosity, and are most vulnerable to advertisements. Parents need to try their best to keep their children away from advertisements for junk food. If it cannot be avoided, they should often guide them. Let them know that food with more advertisements is not equal to high-quality and healthy food, and the attractive taste may contain unhealthy things.
8. Encourage every step of your child’s progress
If the child accepts something he did not eat before or has a more reasonable diet, his parents can give him appropriate spiritual rewards or other non-food forms of encouragement to encourage him to form good habits. Let him feel that this behavior is associated with good personal evaluation such as growing up, being sensible, wise and educated.
In fact, the behavior of babies is largely amorphous and changeable. What they hate today may be acceptable tomorrow. If parents guide them properly, children will accept more and more healthy ingredients and enjoy their delicious food as they grow older.
Responsible Editor: Fu Ting
The article was reprinted by Clove Garden authorized by the author.