Saying that getting kids to eat vegetables and other healthy foods can be a struggle is an understatement!
We’ve gotten fairly lucky with Maddie in that she loves fruits and veggies, but certain ones are definitely her faves, and it’s tricky to try and get her to branch out and try anything new!
Picky eaters not only make more work for parents (who often end up giving in and cooking separate meals!), but can also create unhealthy eating habits that can grow into problems when kids are older.
Starting at about 2 years old, when kids start to test their limits (and your patience!), kids start to establish their list of things they like, and things they don’t. And since they’ve only had about a year to actually add to that list, it can be short..at best!
Try these tips for feeding your picky eater, and remember #6…it can be the most important!
6 Tips For Feeding Picky Eaters
1. Get creative with presentation
It may take a bit of extra work, but sprucing up how you present the food to your kids can make a big difference! Funny how they would rather eat their veggies when they’re arranged in a funny face rather than straight from the plate.
You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to put something together, but even something as simple as placing veggies on a fun platter, and then arranging them in a cool way, can change how they approach the meal.
If the foods look good, they’ll be more compelled to try it.
2. No Short-Order Cooking
Stop making separate meals for each person in your family! Instead, try to include at least one part to the meal that your pickiest eater will accept. This way, you’re still offering them what the rest of the family is eating, and even if they don’t eat the rest, they’ll at least chow down on what they like!
3. Work a Food Chain
Expand the preferences of your child’s taste buds by gradually offering them foods that are similar to ones that they already like, eventually teaching them to like different things.
For example, if you have a french fry lover, offer them something similar like a baked potato or even sweet potato fries! Continue trying new things until they’ve expanded their taste preferences. This works well because it adapts to them, rather than forcing them to try totally new things!
4. Let them get hungry!
Kids that have lots of snacks during the day (as most do!) are not going to want to eat a big meal, so it’s good to let them get a little hungry. This doesn’t mean they don’t have to have any snacks, but just make sure that’s not all that they are eating, particularly closer to dinner time which tends to be the “main meal” for most families!
If they are hungry, they’ll be more willing to eat a variety of food, because it’s available!
5. Have A Good Breakfast
Start the day off strong by giving them a great breakfast! This can be any range of things including yogurt, eggs, granola, oatmeal, smoothies, fruit and so much more (there’s bound to be something they like!).
Kids who have a nutritious breakfast in the morning to jump start their metabolism are more willing to eat throughout the day!
Your child is not going to want to a big bowl of spinach in just a week!
Be patient while you gradually change their eating habits for the better, and it can be a great process for both of you!
Do you have a picky eater? How do you get them to try something new?
This post may contain affiliate links, from which I earn a small commission. You will not be charged any extra by purchasing through our links, but will help in maintaining this blog. Thank you in advance for your support! You can learn more here