Encouraging Picky Eaters

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en Español / em Português

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It’s not uncommon to meet a parent who says their child is a bit of a picky eater. It’s natural for young children to be a bit picky when trying new foods. Though it can feel very frustrating for parents to navigate meal time in these situations. This article will go over some healthy tips for encouraging picky eaters.

1- Try it again:– Children may need to try foods many times before they decide they like them. So give plenty of opportunities to try the food. Try a variety of cooking methods as they will affect the texture of the foods differently. (Think of raw broccoli vs. lightly steamed vs. boiled)

2- Lead the way: Children often observe family members when learning new things. Try the food first to show your child that you like it too.

3- Produce Pickers: Let children help pick fruits and vegetables when you’re shopping or planning a menu. Try starting a challenge to try one new fruit or vegetable each week and let them pick (or vote on one if you have more than one child).

4- Mini Chef: Find age appropriate tasks that your children can help with when preparing the meal. This will help them get excited about trying the recipe.

5- Offer choices: When preparing a meal, offer two options instead of just one. Instead of a yes or no answer, you’re asking for their choice. Example: Instead of asking: “Do you want green beans?” Ask: “Would you like peas or green beans?”

6- Portion Size It: If it’s the first time offering a certain food item, make it a smaller portion for them to try. Let them know if they are still hungry they can have more.

7- Make Food Fun: Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches, fruit, and other foods into fun shapes when serving. You could also try arranging food items into a fun shape on the plate.

This month’s Growing Together Newsletter is ready for download! Click the link below to download the pdf April newsletter for parents of young children. This month’s newsletter covers topics such as helping restless children, exploring writing, toddlers learning to feed themselves, and getting along with others. As always there is a calendar of activities at the end.

Growing Together April 2024 Newsletter: Apr24