How to Deal With a Picky Eater
Having a picky eater is a challenge at any age. It usually happens in toddlers and preschoolers as they’re still getting used to new tastes and textures. Below are 6 tips to handle your picky eater and make sure she still gets plenty of good nutrition. Plus, I have included one of my favorite products to encourage healthy eating. The “Today I Ate a Rainbow Chart.” It’s a fun way for kids to keep track of the healthy foods they eat. http://www.todayiatearainbow.com/
Here are some other tips to dealing with picky eaters.
Think of your job as offering, not forcing
If your child is hungry, he’ll eat! Therefore, don’t think of your job as a force feeder or monitor of how much he did or didn’t eat, instead focus on offing good choices at every meal, and allow him to make the right choices.
Set a schedule
Be sure that you’re having set meal and snack times. This will mean that your child has less opportunity to fill up on snacks before meal time. If they are in the habit of asking for a snack a half hour before dinner and you’re in the habit of giving them a pack of fruit gummies so you can get back to cooking dinner, of course they aren’t going to eat your dinner!
Don’t bribe her with sweets
Don’t get in the habit of forcing your child to eat “just one more bite” before she gets her dessert. This does nothing more than feed her appetite for sugary treats!
Hide the good stuff
Try to find some ways to hide vegetables in things that your kid loves! With one quick online search you can learn how to put sweet potatoes in chocolate chip cookies, make cauliflower tots that look exactly like chicken nuggets and how to make a sauce for pasta made from carrots and cauliflower.
Get them involved with preparation
Getting a young one involved in some aspect of preparing the food is one of the best ways to get them involved. If you have a garden, they’ll love every step from planting to watering to harvesting. If you don’t garden, you can let them choose a fruit or veggie every week at the store. Once they’re old enough they can help stir and pour ingredients (avoid letting the touch anything that could be dangerous, of course). By involving them in the preparation in some way, they take a sense of pride in the food and are more likely to eat it!
Fighting, arguing, coaxing and bribing just don’t work! In fact, they usually increase mealtime anxiety, so just let it go and trust that you’re doing your best by offering good choices and your child will eat when he’s hungry.