How to Deal with Picky Eaters
By Sara Butler
Picky eaters can really try your patience, but they also miss out on a lot of really great food! While it’s certainly a challenge to parent a picky eater, you need to help them move out of the picky phase so they don’t miss out on all the important nutrients a variety of food provides. Here are a few tips to help you bring some harmony to meal time and perhaps get that picky eater to try something new.
Don’t Be a Short-Order Cook
You should plan meals that everyone will eat some part of, and then serve it to your family without exception. When you get into the habit of preparing different foods for everyone, it’s exhausting to you and also encourages bad habits – such as really picky eating.
Remember That It’s a Process
On average, it takes 11 tries before something new is accepted, so don’t expect your picky eater to like something right away. Keep serving the stuff you’re serving. Let your child touch it, play with it, explore how it feels it in their mouth – they may learn to love it if you just accept they need room to do so. Always ask that they take just one bite and then be satisfied with that.
Stay Out of the Clean Plate Club
Your job is to help your child focus on eating until they feel full rather than eating every last piece of food on the plate. Small children have small stomachs, so what you consider to be a reasonable amount of food may not be realistic for them. A good rule of thumb to live by is that a child can eat one tablespoon of food per age for each dish. So, a four-year-old child should get about four tablespoons of each thing you serve.
Get Your Kids Involved
Kids are more likely to try a new dish if it’s something they had a hand in preparing. Let your child choose the vegetables that will go into what you cook. When you get to the kitchen, give them an age-appropriate task such as measuring, stirring, or chopping. It gives them an investment in the final dish and makes their curiosity greater to discover what it tastes like.
You can overcome a picky eater and win the battle of healthy eating with some persistence!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.