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Dealing with Picky Eaters

Dealing with Picky Eaters
Mealtime doesn't have to be a battle. Here are 7 ways to deal with the picky eater in your house!

Dealing with Picky EatersHas your first grader refused to eat anything other than peanut butter and jelly for the past month? Can’t get your toddler to finish anything on her plate? Don’t worry—you’re not the only parent who’s had to deal with a picky eater. Ensure your meals are stress-free and nutritious by following our parent-tested tips below.

  • Don’t offer alternatives – If you prepare a separate meal for your child every time he or she rejects your planned meal, you may be encouraging picky eating. Don’t force your child to eat what you’ve prepared, but do make sure your child stays at the table.
  • Eliminate distractions – Do you normally listen to the radio or TV during dinner? Does your family actively use their electronic gadgets at the table? Stop. By eliminating electronic distractions, your child will be more likely to focus on eating.
  • Be sneaky – Add chopped or pureed fruits and vegetables to pasta sauces, soups, and casseroles.
  • Evaluate your dinner – What are you serving? If you’re not eating a variety of healthy, nutritious foods, your kid isn’t going to want to eat those either. Make sure you’re setting a positive example.
  • Shop together – Bring your kids grocery shopping and allow them to pick out a new fruit or vegetable each week. When you pick out and cook food together, your kids are more likely to eat it.
  • Be consistent – With scheduled meals, not food. Serve meals at the same time every day and don’t allow your kids to fill up on snacks.
  • Compromise – Serve new foods on the same plate with your child’s favorite foods. Talk about colors, textures, and smells rather than taste to encourage exploration.

Still picky? It might just be a phase. If you have any concerns about your child’s nutrition or eating habits, make sure you talk to your pediatrician.

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  • Susan Evans

    Having my kid eat a bite of something before he rejects it helps. Over time, he might get used to the taste. Also, I make sure my kids are hungry by not feeding snacks between meals.

  • Jana | Merlot Mommy

    I don’t play short order chef. Ever. If you don’t like it, you can go hungry is what happens in our house. With 4 kids, I have no time to placate whims. The only option is if they don’t love the veggie we have, they can get carrots from the fridge.

  • Katie

    I’m lucky that neither of my boys has ever been picky!

  • Jen St Germain Leeman

    My daughter has always been an adventurous eater. I know how lucky I am when I see how some kids will only eat a very limited group of foods!

  • Kara Lewis

    I love these tips! I have a couple of really picky boys but they know that they don’t get any other options for dinner if they don’t at least try what we are having. My other two boys will eat anything I put in front of them. It’s funny how different they can be.

  • Maria Iemma

    My son is such a picky eater…he does not eat sandwiches, pizza, butter, cheese, the list is long. The doctor says he is getting the nutrients he needs but I still worry.

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