Tips for Picky Eaters

So many parent struggle with picky eaters. It can be stressful having to wonder if your child is getting enough nutrients. With time, children will begin to develop a liking for new foods. Until then, try these tips and tricks!

Choices

Pick a food group and let them choose- “carrots or celery”, “strawberries or blueberries”, “chicken or fish”. Kids like making their own decisions rather then being told what to eat. They will get satisfaction and learn how to make healthy choices.

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Involvement

Let them help wash and clean fruits and veggies, pick their serving and put it on their plate. They will feel pride in their work and want to dig in!

No more Bribes

While bribes may seem like a good idea and will provide short-term benefits, it ultimately attaches negative feeling towards food.

Exposure equals Acceptance

Continue serving new foods, even if you child is rejecting them. While this can be frustrating, research proves kids need to taste a food anywhere between 10 and 15 times before they can develop a liking. Placing a giant plate full of broccoli in font of them is overwhelming. Just let them taste- a couple bites here and there.

Finger foods

Leave the chips and cookies at the store! If kids are opening up the pantry and seeing boxes of cookies they are going to be enticed to eat them. Pre cut fruits and veggies for easy finger food.

Hunger

A child who is hungry is more likely to eat the options presented to them, even if it’s not their favorite. Don’t try to provide new or nutritious foods if their bellies are full- they will be sure to reject them.

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Get creative

  • Traffic light peppers ~cut red, yellow and green pepper into circles. They make a fresh, crisp snack. Add a side of ranch if needed.
  • Coconut crazy! ~ Add shredded coconut to whole grain waffles or pancakes. The light sweetness will make kids forget they are eating whole-grains.
  • Ice globes ~ place a serving of grapes in the freezer before dinner. When its time for dessert, pull them out. It totally transforms the texture and makes them taste like candy.
  • Baked French Fries- cut russet or sweet potatoes into strips. Bake them in the over to create a healthy version of fries.
  • Zucchini Pizza Boats ~ slice your zucchini in half; add marinara and mozzarella cheese for a healthy pizza crust.

 

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