How to Deal With Picky Finicky Kids

Are you your kid's slaves? Do you find yourself cooking several different meals for several finicky, picky kids who will not eat what is put in front of them?
Here are some clues as to how to get your kids to sit down and eat together. This is crucial as tiptoeing around several kids and cooking several 'made-to-order' meals in expensive and time-consuming.

You need to establish rules for a sit-down meal. . Turn the television off. Focus on conversation that includes everyone. Don't use dinner time to nag or punish your child for behaviors that aren’t related to mealtime. A kid that associates meals with getting punished ends up with eating disorders or worse – a lack of weight gain due to being too upset to eat.

Make it clear that at mealtime nobody leaves the table until you say so. He or she must stay seated and there must be decorum. No throwing of food, silverware, making funny faces or any of that.

You can reinforce good behavior at the table by complimenting your child whenever he or she does something right.

Finicky eaters might respond well to a time limit. Limit dinner to a half an hour. Make the kid eat everything during that time. If he or she does not finish by the end of the thirty minutes the plate is removed. This prevents the kid from dawdling while eating.

Don't let kids think that you are a short order cook. You can plan your menus in advance. Include your picky eater by letting him or her help plan the family menu, encouraging them to try something new. Children’s cookbooks are available to help with meal planning. Once you have created a menu, stick to your plan.

Denying a kid that won't eat dessert is far. Desserts or snacks should only be given if your kid finishes the previous meal.

Finally, make an attempt to make your children their favorite foods. This will encourage them to eat and also make them look forward to dinner. Encourage talk about food at dinner about why they like certain foods and not others. You can use dinner time to teach them about eating well, cooking and shopping.

Of course, not all picky eaters are control-freaks. If you suspect that a health problem is behind your child's picky eating then be sure to take him or her to a doctor for a check up.

More Simple Free Ways to Have Fun With Your Kids

The recession is a bummer but it does not have to bum out you and your kids. Here are some more free ways to have fun with your kids that cost nothing or next to nothing.

If you have a little girl then try playing dress up and playing pretend with her. Little girls really like dressing up models and playing with makeup. Both sexes of children enjoy being made up as clowns.

Kids love water fights of all kinds. On a hot day have a water fight with the garden hose or have a water balloon fight. You can also teach kids how to make their own popsicles.

Kids also love to give their imaginations a work out. Look up at the clouds and teach your kid how to look for shapes in them. Tell stories about the shapes.

All kids love a simple game of hide and seek or cops and robbers. If you have an old can on hand then play 'kick the can!' You can also make telephones with rope and a couple of cans.Never underestimate the simple fun a just climbing a tree, flying a kite or playing hopscotch. Playing a simple game like Chinese Checkers can renew your child's interest in it. Foot races, skipping and playing 'King of the Hill' are also fun games for kids.

Kids love to be barefoot. Go for a walk somewhere safe completely barefoot. Walk in the mud and the rain with no shoes. If it is rainy then hold a picnic indoors.

Kids also love simple contests. A singing or dancing contest can be very entertaining for kids.

Older kids also like cooking. You can set up the stuff for banana splits or smoothies and let the kids choose their own ingredients, topping and sprinkles. If you are more health conscious they can help you make juices (as long as you operate the juicer!)

If you really want to entertain a group of children then set up a treasure hunt. The treasure does not have to be glorious…it is the hunting that keeps the kids fascinated!

An older child might appreciate being taught how to keep a diary. Have your kid write down wishes in a book and then keep track of how many come true.

Remember it is the small things in life that can help keep your kids happy! Sometimes the key to their happiness is right under your nose.