There is lots of debate as to where is the line between a true problematic behaviour and normal selectiveness but most agree that a child that has a very restricted diet and adamantly refuses to try new foods is probably an issue. Picky eaters are common and we think the behaviour stems from their innate temperament often coupled with parenting approaches. The following are factors that can lead to picky eating
Manipulative behaviour : Once a child realizes that if I throw a tantrum my mother will give in and offer me fries instead of the broccoli then most likely next time you have broccoli on the menu same thing would happen .
Parenting styles : constant coercion or scolding in getting them to eat their meals may lead to negative attitudes towards meal experiences
Grazing in between meals : Be mindful of that as even as little as a couple of cookies or a juice may be enough to make them feel full and reduce the amount of food they eat during meals.
Develop a daily routine : Set specific times for your daily meals and try and stick to these every day. Toddlers cope better with routines compared to chaotic timetables. They are more likely to follow your lead and also their body will synchronize feeling hungry with the times you actually offer them food.
Be creative : if your child wont eat his fruits or veggies in their plain form try and make then more appealing, for example as chop them into a fruit salad with a bit of honey and cinnamon on top or chop fruit inside their favourite cereals . Why not make a your pasta sauce with veggies instead of meat or cook veggie balls instead of meatballs . The options are endless .
Sensory processing difficulties: a few picky eaters have a medical condition called sensory processing disorder which means their brain handles information from the senses in a different way than other people. They may struggle with certain food smells , textures or colours . This needs expert input.