Lets be honest, as adult, we all have certain preferences when it comes to various aspects of our lifestylessome prefer sleeping in over an outing, some skip breakfast and opt for power bars on the go, some prefer multitasking when it comes to work while others prefer finishing one task before moving onto the next. No matter who you are, one things for certainyou have a flavour profile when it comes to your taste buds, and certain veggies that are a complete no-no, despite how flavourful they may be. Is it really a surprise then that children are fussy eaters? After all, our preferences are set from an early age.However, for parents, mealtime can be quite the battle, especially if your children are fussy eaters. More often than not, they may like one thing today, and do a complete 180 the nextit can be hard to keep up. That said, when dealing with a fussy eater, its important to remember to practice what you preach. After all, kids learn by aping their parents.Here are some super easy tips to help you avoid those mealtime battles:Avoid words like picky eatersIts important to understand that all children will display preferential tendenciesif a toddler is slowly being introduced to newer foods and flavours, or as your children grow older, they may want fancier lunches. The key here is to talk to your child to understand their tastes, like and dislikes, while reiterating the need to incorporate various foods. Providing them with a variety will help steer clear of the same flavours, and broaden their horizons. Besides, if they catch onto that picky eater title, theyre more likely going to believe it, making your job as a parent that much harder.Do a pantry overhaulHealthy eating practices begin at home. This means, its far bigger than just the foods you prepareits got a lot to do with the junk foods you may have stashed around the house. Instead of chips and sugary foods, if you have fruits and veggies stashed away, theres a good chance your child will choose healthier options when it comes to their mealtime. Moreover, theyll be accustomed to the wholesome flavours, and will be less resistant to newer introductions. This also means that as a parent, youll need to be that positive role model. When they watch you make healthier food choices, the battle is already half won.Get them involved when you shop for groceriesKids are eager to learn, and when you involve them in not only eating healthy, but also helping you pick healthy foods for the whole family, theyre bound to get excited. This is also a great way to introduce them to newer varieties of foods. For example, they may love mashed potatoes. You could tell them youd make mashed sweet potatoes. The same with cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. Getting them introduced to the different textures, smells, and colours of fresh produce is also teaching them an important life lesson for when they need to shop for themselves.Keep it interestingTheres no denying that kids cannot sit still during mealtime. However, instead of making them watch television while they mindlessly eat whatevers on their plate, it helps to engage their minds and teach them some fun facts. Mindlessly watching something instead of concentrating on each bite, prevents the brain from signalling when theyve had enough, increasing their chances of overeating and weight gain. Moreover, making their meals interactive (like with creating a face with each meal) can also help you teach your child while they eat.Get your kids to help in the kitchenRemember, while its a great idea to listen to your child and cook according to preferences, youre not a line cook in a restaurant. This means, you need to be able to put your foot down. And the best way to get your kids to stop being fussy at mealtime is to get them involved. If your child is young, perhaps you can have them carry the plastic plates and cutlery to the table. With older kids, you can ask them to assist with meal prep, or sauting. The more involved they are, the better the chances that they comply and eat everything served before them, since they know the time and effort thats gone into making their meals. And as they grow older, you can entrust them with more responsibility in the kitchen.Parenting takes a great deal of trial and error, but more importantly, patience. Keeping an open mind, as well as being open to listening and incorporating your childs food preferences ever now and then, will encourage them to make informed, and healthier food choices.