Kids all go through picky stages. Some change their likes and dislike daily, while others refuse to eat most things put in front of them. If your little one is picky here are some tips and tricks to try and get them to eat SOMETHING, without driving yourself crazy.
- Make it Fun – Use cookie cutters to make food into new and interesting shapes. This can be done for may different items including sandwiches, toast, pancakes, eggs, vegetables, etc.
- Don’t Ask – Watch how you word things with your kids. Don’t ask would you like to have some spaghetti for supper? Ask, do you want cheese or no cheese on your spaghetti? Don’t give them the chance to say no and don’t give them too many options. Asking “What would you like to eat?” can be terrible. Often if kids are hungry and you place something in front of them they will eat it, unless of course they are super picky.
- Change your Words – When my son realized that the chickens he read about in books had the same name as the meat on his plate, he began to refuse to eat it. To get around this, when he asked what food it was I wouldn’t say “chicken”, I would call it “poultry”. Give meals fun and exciting names, “a super special spaghetti” sounds much more fun then noodles and sauce.
- Be Sneaky – If you can’t get your child to eat fruits and vegetables for the life of you, then try and add purees to meals that your child does like or make sure to give them a multi-vitamin to ensure they are meeting their nutritional needs.
- Don’t Give Up– Keep offering items to your child even if they refuse. It can take up to 10 times before a kid actually accepts and tries a new food. When kids are young their taste buds are constantly changing and growing. Don’t give up and keep giving them opportunities to try different things. Eventually their taste buds should catch up!
- Be a Good Role Model – If you want your kids to eat their veggies make sure they see you eating yours. Sharing meal time together can help kids see you model proper eating habits and trying the foods that they might be scared or apprehensive to try. Another good reason to share a meal together!
Remember kids generally grow out of their picky eating. It can be a challenging period, but remember that eventually it should end. However if you are concerned, or if your child’s pickiness seems extreme, check with your family doctor.
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