Do you have a picky eater on your hands?
Don’t let that large array of vegetables on my plate in the above photo fool you.... I most definitely had finicky days and went through picky phases as a child.
Are there days your child wants the same exact foods, meal after meal? OR does your child like PB&J one day and then the next day act as if it‘s poison?!
Below are 5 tips that I suggest for my picky friends:
1. Get them cookin’- Children like to be involved! Have them help with the preparation process during mealtime. Depending on their age, they can grab food out of the refrigerator, help wash produce, help mix ingredients etc.
2. Cooking classes- Many food stores offer FREE cooking classes for kids! Check and see if your local food store has any available options.
3. Have fun in the kitchen- Meal time does not have to be boring! Cut fruits and veggies into fun shapes or arrange food on a plate into a smiley face. Amazon sells a game dinner plate, which is always a big hit! I also recommend offering a variety of (healthy) dipping sauces if all else fails!
4. Little helper- Have your child come with you to the food store and pick out ONE new (nutritious) food to try every week.
5. Don’t offer sweets or junk food IN PLACE of a nutritious meal- I have heard many times, “I give him doughnuts for breakfast because that is all he will eat.” This sends the message to your child that they are being rewarded for not eating their meal. Try and offer TWO healthy options for your child to choose from. Desserts and sweets are fine in moderation, but should never be used to replace a meal.
Have patience. This is typically a phase that he or she will outgrow.
As always, if things are not improving ask your pediatric provider for assistance. If there is a concern for an underlying medical condition, or if it is affecting his or her growth and development, contact the pediatrician’s office immediately.
Until next time,