Feeding the picky eater

Pre-dinner tips

•  Get your child involved. Many kids can help with shopping and cooking. Being involved in the process may make them more likely to try new foods. Have them choose a favorite fruit or vegetable from the store. Younger children can help pour ingredients or cut soft foods, like bananas, with a butter knife. Older children can help with measurements.

•  Get some exercise. Kids who have been actively playing may be hungrier when dinner comes. The hungrier they are, the more likely they may try new things.

•  Turn off devices. Make family mealtimes relaxing and unplugged. Ban cell phones, television or other devices from the table.

 

Size matters

Don’t force your child to eat foods they don’t like. Rather, put a “sample size” on their plate. It can be just one bite of food. This may be less overwhelming than serving a large portion to them.

 

Sanity-saving steps

•  Make healthier snacks to fill the gaps. Serve fresh fruit or vegetables as a snack to get in extra nutrients. Skip the processed crackers and chips.

•  Don’t have a battle. Forcing your child to eat could make them dislike their food even more.

•  Don’t use bribes or rewards for eating. Rewards teach your child to expect something every time he/she tries a new food.

•  Make one healthy meal for everyone. Don’t feel pressured to make “special meals” for picky eaters.

•  Talk about your child’s eating habits with their doctor. Most picky eaters are getting enough of the foods they need. But, ask their pediatrician just in case. Some children need supplements to help get extra nutrients that they’re missing.

 

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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