It seems there’s always one picky eater who fusses during every meal (I’ve got one). She’s not much of an adventurer when it comes to food, anything else she’s game. Ideally, I’d like her to eat a well-balanced diet but we often fall short of the daily recommendations.
We try new tricks all the time. Sometimes they work. Here are a few that might help you with your picky eater:
- Don’t force a meal or snack: Respect your child’s appetite.
- Serve meals and snacks at the same time everyday: If your picky eater comes to the table hungry, she will be more inclined to eat.
- Introduce new foods: Repeated exposure to new food is necessary (the experts say 10 tries until a taste is acquired).
- Use cookie cutters: Make it fun. If you put a ham sandwich into a heart or dinosaur shape, he may just gobble it up without thinking.
- Turn your kid into the cook: Having them help make meals gives them a sense of power and pride. Dishing out their own plates also gives them some ownership to preparing their own meal.
- Sneak in the good stuff: Adding finely chopped vegetables into meals may help your picky eater get through a meal without a single complaint.
- Minimize distractions: Turn off the TV and make a rule no toys allowed at the table during mealtime.
- Plant a garden with them: Let her care for the plants. She’ll be much more interested in eating what she helped grow.
- Stock up on healthy, whole foods: Offer fruit for snacks. Offer a variety of healthy choices.
- Lead by example: If you enjoy a healthy lifestyle naturally your kids will want to as well.
- Try toothpicks: Cut small pieces of food and serve it on a frilly toothpick. It works!
- Their choice: When you’re preparing your weekly mealplan, enlist their help and have them pick one or two meals every week. Have them shop for the ingredients (and help prepare the meal).
- Family Tasting Party: Line up several new foods in a row and ask the kids to rate them like restaurant critics.
- Give food silly names: Think of fun names for food to help intrigue them and give them a try. The sillier the name the better.
- Encourage kids to eat their colors: Make it like an eye spy game. “Eye spy the color red”… time to take a bite of the red peppers.
- Prepare the meal with one thing you know your picky eater will eat: Make sure they have at least one thing on their plate that you’re sure they will devour. Only one new food at a time.
Here are some free resouces that are excellent for preparing healthy meals and snacks for the whole family:
Any tricks up your sleeve? Leave a comment and share it with us Moms!