How to Eliminate Picky Eating
By Genevieve Cunningham
Usually when you think about picky eaters, you probably picture a little kid refusing to eat dinner. But don’t forget that those little kids grow up into adults, and those picky eating habits often accompany them. While picky eating may not seem like much more than an inconvenience, it can actually keep you from getting the nutrients that you need to be healthy. If you’re dealing with a picky eater in your life, whether they’re big or small, take a look at these tips for eliminating picky eating and expanding the menu.
Make It Pretty
It’s just easier to eat food that looks pretty. Don’t underestimate the power of the eyes. If the eyes see something that looks good, the person is more likely to give it a try. This might take some practice. You’ll have to look for some tips on appearance, and you may have a few fails along the way. But stick with it! The more appealing the food looks, the more likely it is that your picky eater will give it a try.
Sneak in New Foods
If all else fails, don’t be afraid to sneak it in. If my sister needs her picky eating husband to eat some veggies, she chops them up into tiny pieces when he’s not around, adds them to his favorite dishes, and voila. He’s none the wiser, but seriously healthier. Is it deceptive? Maybe a little. But since the ultimate goal is to get your loved ones the proper nutrients and keep them as healthy as possible, you don’t have to carry around much guilt for this little white lie.
Add One Food at a Time
If you’re going to just add a new food without trying the sneaky method, don’t overwhelm the picky eater. Instead, just add one new food at a time. It might take a few introductions for them to get used to the idea, so stick with serving it periodically over the next few weeks. This allows picky eaters to still feel a little control over their menu, which is what a lot of picky eaters need, and with some extreme patience, you can expand the eater’s diet over time.
Picky eating is a tough habit to break. Of course you don’t want to force someone to eat something that they legitimately hate, but expanding their palate won’t hurt them. In fact, it will only make their diet more interesting and take their health in a better direction. Use these tips to beat picky eating and you may have a brand new menu in a year’s time.