Have a child that just won’t eat anything you make? Having trouble making healthy dinner choices a reality? Here are some tips for dealing with picky eaters while making sure they’re eating healthily:
1) Stop buying unhealthy foods. It may sound simple, and picky eaters may throw a fit at first. But if these foods are not in the house, they will get used to having to eat other (healthier) foods.
2) Stick to a routine. If kids can predict what is going to be made for dinner, they are more likely to get used to eating what you make.
3) Get kids involved in the kitchen! If kids help prepare food, they are more likely to eat the finished product and try new foods.
4) Take a look at this blogpost of 50+ ways to sneak fruits and veggies into kid favorite meals.
5) Have fun with meal preparation. Cut foods into fun shapes, serve vegetables with fun dips and sauces, and serve a variety of food in bright colors.
6) Don’t use incentives to get children to finish vegetables. Ever find yourself saying “no dessert until you finish your vegetables”? This trains children to anticipate not enjoying healthy foods, and can result in resentment and temper tantrums.
7) Don’t give in to requests and tantrums. If you give your child a different meal than what the rest of the family eats, this reinforces picky eating. If you want to end the habit, don’t enable it.
8) Drink up! Make fun smoothies with tasty fruits, juices, and green vegetables. A cup of spinach in a fruit smoothie is a great snack or dessert. You can’t taste it, and it turns the smoothie a fun green color!
9) Serve nutrition-packed foods. Broccoli, pasta, avocados, peanut butter, brown rice, cheese, sweet potatoes, poultry, fish, etc. They may not eat a lot of it, but at least they’re getting a significant amount of nutrients in a small bite.
10) Take picky eaters grocery shopping. When picking out fruits and vegetables, let them be a part of the process. If they pick it out, they may just be more likely to eat it.