A hungry child will eat anything. I can remember my Warri ‘aunties’ saying things like ‘leave am, when hungry beat am well well e go chop’ of a child that refuses to eat what is given to him.
I know a lot of picky eaters. In adults, it’s not a problem because in most cases you’re responsible for your own meals and can decide what you want. In children, it can be frustrating. I know a child that will not eat fish, only meat. Another that will not eat any swallow except pounded yam (not poundo o, the real thing) and a boy that has to drink tea with every meal. No tea, no eating. For these kids eating is not the problem, it’s the particular meal they have an issue with. It now becomes a case of adjusting the family’s meals to them or preparing their own meals separately (some people have time).
Then there’s the child that is an actual picker. It doesn’t matter what you place before him, the first cry is ‘it is too plenty’. Then he’ll proceed to scatter the food with spoon/fork or his hand. For this child, plenty patience is required.
Below are ten tips for picky eaters from mayoclinic.org
- Respect your child’s appetite — or lack of one
- Stick to the routine
- Be patient with new foods
- Make it fun
- Recruit your child’s help in selecting foods
- Set a good example
- Be creative
- Minimize distractions
- Don’t offer dessert as a reward
- Don’t be a short-order cook if your child rejects the original meal
It’s all great advice. But for me, I like to go with, ‘leave am, when hungry beat am well well e go chop’.