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What You Can Do to Help Picky Eaters

By Randi Morse 

I have read dozens and dozens of articles and blog posts that talk about how to get your picky child to eat healthier. Most of the articles I've read are, to be frank, pretty worthless. Suggesting that you hide your children's veggies in foods in order to get them the nutrition they need? How is that teaching them to be a good eater and to enjoy healthy foods? I should know, I'm a picky eater, or, as I like to call it, a "selective eater." I remember my mother trying to hide onions in my mashed potatoes and attempting to sneak carrots in my favorite (non-onion) meatloaf. When I figured out what she was doing, and I always figured it out, I began to mistrust her. This fueled my picky eating even more.  

All is not lost! While dealing with picky eaters can be tricky, there are a few things that you can do to help them discover new, tasty foods that they love. 

Kid Cooking 

I know, it's much easier to prepare a meal in the kitchen when you're not trying to supervise a little one. Helping their parents to cook in the kitchen not only teaches children how to make food, a vital skill, it also shows them exactly what ingredients are going into their dish. This helps them to understand what they're eating, allows them to not have to be worried they're being tricked and gives them a sense of accomplishment as well. 

Don't Force It 

I don't know how many times I've heard people say that their parents made them sit at the table until they ate all their dinner. While it is extremely important to have good table manners, trying to make a picky eater eat something they don't like is not a good idea. Instead of forcing your child to eat, keep offering new foods. Try introducing foods with different seasonings, introduce food with different texture, and different tastes. Also, make sure you praise them a great deal when they do attempt trying something new, even if they make a face and say they don't like it. The fact that they tried the food should give you hope. 

Finally, let them make their own plates. As parents we often put the plates together because it's faster and it helps us to make sure that the kids are getting the nutrients we want them to have. Instead, try serving dinner family style. Allow your children to serve themselves at the table. This way they'll get the foods that they like while still having the opportunity to try something new. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Burlington, Mass.

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