Down the hatch: 7 sure-fire strategies to encourage your child to eat new foods and take their supplements (part 4)

By Alive & Well

Sean Fitzgerald, Autism InternationalGuest post from Sean Fitzgerald, Autism International


So far we’ve talked about the importance of attitudetiming and playfulness when it comes to encouraging your kids to try new things.

Or in other words, you gotta believe in it, time it right and – wherever possible – make it fun.

The next one can be a tricky one, particularly for all those awesome Type-A personalities out there (yes you! I’m talking to you!).

4. (Giving) Control

When kids feel like they have some control over things, they’re less likely to resist them. That’s because they know there’s nothing to fear.

To do that, you just need to reboot your interactions around food and supplements in the short term – and then watch the dynamic shift over time.

Here’s how …

1.     If your child has been resisting new foods or supplements, give it a breather for a while. Stick with foods you know he’ll eat, and hang back on any supplements he’s resisting (as long as it’s OK for his health)

via weheartit.com2.    After a few weeks, begin offering them again – but when he says no, respect it. Be relaxed and easy. Say “OK, that’s fine – and thank you for letting me know! That’s really helpful.”

3.    A few seconds or minutes later, try again. Continue to give your child control and respect if he says no. If he keeps saying no, leave it until later or another time. Respecting his ‘no’ will help him learn he doesn’t need to be so resistant to new things anymore, because he has control over it.

Remember, ‘no’ is not forever. Sometimes it just means ‘I’m not ready yet.’ It might mean you can try again in 10 seconds, 10 minutes, a little longer or even tomorrow. You know your child best, so you’ll be able to work it out.

4.     Continue this practice for some time. Over time, you’ll find he becomes much more relaxed when you offer something new, and his resistance will decrease over time.

Eventually, the fear will come out of the interaction, it will become less stressful to offer new things on a regular basis – and you’ll get closer to “yes” every day.

Have you tried this? How hard was it to respect the ‘no’?

The complete ‘Down the Hatch’ series: