Tips For Helping Children Eat Vegetables
Fussy Eater Tips – How to help children try vegetables and get some of their dinners finished.
Picture this … a dinner table where your young child tastes new vegetables and casually eats their meal … again and again … Is it possible? … Well keep reading.
By the time you read this article you will have a crystal clear picture of what really is the secret to getting your child to try new foods and finish at least ten mouthfuls of the prepared meal.
If you are like me, you believe in the benefit of helping your young child eat a variety of foods including vegetables, fruit and fish, thus improving their nutrition and health.
Well … congratulations are in order. The very fact that you are sitting reading this website means you are well on your way to doing just that.
We guarantee if you try Big Mouth Bite on your 2-6 year old and follow the seven tips listed below, you will see an improved willingness to try new foods and finish meals. Our trials on fussy eaters to date have shown that improvements normally happen on the very first use of the book and the child really gets into the swing of it over the first five to seven days.
Here are seven tips to improve success with Big Mouth Book:
1 Ensure your child is seated at a table, away from distractions like the television.
Some say that this is our most obvious of tips, but for us, it is all about the set up. Children need an environment free of distractions in order to focus on their meal. We believe Big Mouth Book works for three key reasons:
ATTENTION – the child is receiving the full attention of the parent and both are focused on the meal.
CONTROL – The child indicates when they are finished their mouthful and then gets to ask to see the next hungry animal.
FUN – Most of the drama and tension from the "I won't eat it" stand-off is removed when the fun of an animal countdown is introduced.
We found the exception to be when the child is too tired to eat, in this instance, there was no more food or milk, and early night was needed then we started again the next day.
2 Before you read the Big Mouth Book, build the child's suspense by talking with them about discovering new animals and how they eat. When introducing Big Mouth Book to your child we suggest taking a few moments (before placing the plate in front of the child) to explain what the book is about. Briefly let them know that wild animals don't stare at their food – they gobble it up – now it is their chance to be like a wild animal. Build the suspense and watch how much difference it makes.
3 Explain that they will see a new animal with each mouthful they finish. The author waited until both of his children had made a "bing" noise to signal that their mouth was empty, before turning the page. Using Big Mouth Book, children love the idea of learning the next animal and then remembering it for next time. It is the drama and attention that surrounds guessing the next animal that drives the children to finish one mouthful and move on to the next.
This month we have had interest from a profession body that works with children that eat too fast. In waiting for the next animal children are either preparing for the next mouthful or controlling the eating process so that mouthfuls happen at a steady rate.
Our children loved to tell us when they were finished their mouthful with a "bing" noise, thus they feel in control of the process. We just had to get used to a new noise at the dinner table.
4 Serve a familiar meal and include a little of the new vegetable or flavor with each mouthful. If our children will try just a teaspoon of a new food we are happy with their efforts. A few tastes and before you know it they will eat a full serve.
5 Our children know that if they don't finish ten mouthfuls then there is no alternative food, no milk and no desert. This is a tough one, but our mantra is, if you are too full for dinner, you are too full for deserts.
6 Try to provide a variety of foods and maintain regular mealtimes for the whole family. Children need routine and they need to see a wide variety of foods so they are exposed to alternatives.
7 Keep the book special by only using it at mealtime.