“There are many children in the world who are starving because they have nothing to eat so you should be grateful to have nutritious food in your plate.” These were my lines almost every meal when RJ was still younger. She is now 9 years old and her likes and dislikes gradually change. I know that at her age, I can’t expect her to embrace a wide range of food most especially those with vegetables as I myself started to explore dishes and cuisines when I was already in college. Though there are still times she is fussy about some food, I am glad that as she grows she starts to like some vegetables.
Experts believe that babies have already developed taste buds at their 21st week on mother’s womb and as their bodies develop, so do their taste buds. However, based on research, children are more sensitive to certain tastes than adults thus they become picky eaters. Most children dislike food not just because of the taste but because of the texture, color and odor as well that is why they tend to dislike food in just a glance. So if you want your children to eat the food you prepare, how you present it is very important. Prepare variety of healthy food with very tempting presentation. If your children see the food as delicious and think they will like it, there’s a much better chance that they will.
Cute lunch boxes and accessories can also help to make the prepared meal looks delicious. You can buy most of these accessories on Japanese stores. Below are the examples of the packed lunch I prepare for RJ.
burger patties, buttered kernels and heart-shaped rice
star-shaped rice, fried spring rolls, boiled carrots, cucumber and hotdog (a little junk here)
fried chicken, cheese and cucumber rolled in ham and dip on a cute little container
meat loafs decorated with parsley and raisins
Making children’s food look appetizing is the best solution for your fussy children. Bribing, scolding or forcing them to eat will just give them negative eating experiences. Oh yes, a little creativity and time will be needed in preparing your children’s meals but it is all worth your time and effort when they come home with empty lunch boxes.