Heading to your favorite American food restaurant is often a treat, but if your child is a picky eater, it can be challenging. Fortunately for your family, there are ways that you can still enjoy your dining experience and ensure your pickiest eater still gets his or her fill.
Be Respectful of Your Child
Although you might be concerned that your child is not getting enough to eat, do not force him or her to choose something to eat. Without realizing it, you could cause your child to associate eating with anxiety or frustration. You could even hinder your child's ability to judge when he or she is hungry.
If your child expresses that he or she is not hungry when you arrive at the restaurant, consider ordering a to-go meal that can be eaten later by your child.
Offer New Foods
If your child is hungry, try introducing new foods to him or her while eating out. Due to your child's pickiness, you might have to go a step further than just offering the foods.
One way is to offer to try the food with your child. He or she is less likely to try a food if you are unwilling to eat it yourself. For instance, if you are enjoying French fries with your meal, but pushing your child to eat broccoli, he or she might balk at the suggestion. However, if you are also eating broccoli, your child might be willing to try it.
You can also allow your child to try foods that are on your plate. If the food is on your plate instead of your child's, he or she might not feel as pressured to continue to eat the food.
Involve Your Child in Ordering
As an adult, you want control over your food choices. Your child likely wants that same level of freedom. If your child is used to adults making food choices for him or her, your child could rebel when you are at the restaurant. This is especially true if older siblings are being allowed to choose what they want to eat.
If you are concerned that allowing your child to pick his or her food from the menu would lead to unhealthy choices, there is a way to help him or her feel in control, while ensuring some healthy items make it to the plate. You can let him or her pick one or two items while you pick some of the other items. For instance, you can let your child choose a side dish or dessert while you select the main dish.
By taking your time and exercising patience, you can help your picky eater become more restaurant-friendly.
Finding the problems inside your restaurant isn't always easy, especially if you are close to your employees. However, a few years ago I could tell that things weren't going well, and that I needed to do more to improve food quality. I started carefully evaluating every aspect of my restaurant, and before I knew it, I found little changes that made a big difference. This blog is all about making your restaurant a little bit better--one change at a time. You never know, the changed you make today might become the profits that you will make tomorrow. Check out the rest of this blog to learn more.