The problem of children's food selection and their desire to eat certain foods seems to be common among preschoolers. Crunchy chicken nuggets, sweetened juices and french fries are the favorite foods of most children.
But these unhealthy foods cannot be relied upon to build your child's body, so how do you prioritize your child's selective appetite?
You are not alone, as many mothers are frustrated that their children refuse to eat traditional food.
However, children should get a variety of elements in their diets throughout the week.
And until the preferences of the children mature, the mother should be mindful of these tips to prevent fights at mealtime.
Respect your child's appetite
If your child is not hungry, do not force him to eat even if it is a light meal.
Likewise, do not bribe or force your child to eat certain foods or forcibly finish eating his plate, as this may only reinforce a power struggle over food.
In addition, your child may associate food time with anxiety and frustration or become less sensitive to cues of hunger and fullness.
Offer small portions to avoid overwhelming your child and give him the opportunity to order more independently.
If your child is not hungry, do not force him to eat even if it is a snack (Getty Images)
Stick to a routine
Offer basic meals and snacks at roughly the same times every day.
And if your child chooses not to have a meal, a regular snack time will provide an opportunity to eat nutritious food.
You can provide milk or juice only with meals, but you can offer water alone between meals and snacks.
Allowing your toddler to be full with juice, milk, or snacks throughout the day may decrease his appetite for meals.
Be patient with new foods
Young children often touch or smell new foods first, and your baby may need frequent exposure to a new food before taking the first bite.
Encourage your child by talking about food color, shape, smell and texture, and avoiding talking about assessing the taste of the food.
Introduce new foods with your baby's favorite foods.
Keep introducing your baby's healthy choices until they become familiar and favorite.
Your baby needs frequent exposure to a new food before he takes the first bite (Getty Images)
Avoid special meals
Preparing a separate meal for your child after rejecting the original meal may encourage him or her to eat selectively, so encourage your child to stay at the table at the specified meal time even if he is not eating.
Get your baby to help
At the grocery store, ask your child to help you choose fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods.
And don't buy anything that your child does not want to eat.
At home, encourage your child to help you rinse vegetables, flip the salad or prepare the table, as exposure to bright colors of food opens the appetite for tasting.
Be a creative role model
If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your baby is likely to do the same.
Make sure to add chopped broccoli or green peppers to spaghetti sauce, mix grains with sliced fruit, or mix zucchini and grated carrots in soups.
If you eat healthy foods, your child is more likely to do the same (Getty Images)
Turn off the TV and other electronic gadgets during meals, as this helps your child focus on eating.
Keep in mind that TV advertising may also encourage your child to crave sugary or less healthy foods.
Do not offer candy as a reward
Not eating sweets sends the message that candy is the best food, which may only increase your child's desire for sweets.
You can choose one or two nights a week for serving the sweets, and not offering them as a reward for good behavior.
And try to break any association between sweets and rewards.
Dessert is redefined as fruit, fruit yogurt, or other healthy options.
And if you are concerned that selective food is detrimental to your child's development, consult a pediatrician, as he can compare your child's development on the growth chart.
Additionally, consider recording the types and amounts of food your child eats for 3 days, as the big picture may help relieve your fears.
In the meantime, remember that your baby's eating habits won't change overnight, but small steps you take every day can help boost an appetite for healthy eating.