You know the drill: you go to the hawker centre and your picky child eats chicken rice, and only chicken rice.
How can you get him to try a healthier dish?
“Take him around the food centre to look at how the hawkers prepare the dishes. Let him decide what she wants to try – young children enjoy this powerful feeling of being in control,” says Pauline Xie, senior dietitian with the Clinical Services Division at the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics.
“When introducing a new dish, or something previously rejected by him, don’t use forceful words, such as: ‘Eat it! It’s good for you!
“Instead, encourage him in a gentle and calm tone: ‘Just taste it and see if you like it.’
“Let him know that he will not be punished if he doesn’t like it – you just want him to try it. Take it away without fuss if he isn’t keen to eat more. “Studies have shown that kids can reject a food item 15 times before they acquire a taste for it,” explains Pauline Xie, who has three children.