Helps Picky Eaters Eat Better!
It’s just reality.
Many kids are picky eaters who avoid healthy snacks— but do they have to be?
You can encourage your picky child to eat healthily, but it will take consistency and determination.
Are you a mushy mom like me sometimes?
My mom always tells me I am much stricter than she was.
But on the inside, I’m a pushover when it comes to food…;0)
When it comes to kids’ tears and pleas, I have to stay extra resolute not to give in.
I mean those little red faces and that horrible sound?
I just want to make it all stop and go back to the giggles and smiles!
But, as a mom, I have to keep my child’s best interest in mind at all times — which includes eating healthy!
It’s amazing the excuses kids come up with to not eat their food, isn’t it?
For instance, have you heard these I-don’t-want-to-eat-my-dinner lines from your child?
- I’m not hungry.
- I feel like I’m going to throw up.
- I’m sleepy.
- I just want to play.
- That food makes my tummy hurt.
Just want to insert one more tid bit of mom-to-mom advice right here: don’t fall for the “If I eat it, I’ll throw up!” tactic.
I repeat, do not fall for it!
Yep, it’s infamous for a reason!
How many times have you been in a restaurant and witnessed this parent/child scene?
Enter parents and picky child.
“No! No! No!” comes the loud screams from a food-picky child.
People can’t help but turn their heads.
“Come on,” the mother pleads, “You need to eat your veggies.”
“No, No! I want pizza! I want Coke!” the child demands adamantly.
After a few more weak attempts, the mother reluctantly gives in and hands the picky child pizza and a soda.
The child gobbles up the pizza and guzzles down the soda.
He wipes his mouth in yet another victory.
Does this sound familiar?
If it does, here are some great tips to turn your picky child into an “I can eat it” machine!
Help Picky Kids Eat Healthier
Picky Eater Tip #1: Set a reasonable goal for your child.
Do not pile a mountain of Kale in front of a child and tell him, “Eat up!”
Instead, place a small serving of veggies on the plate and set a simple goal.
A popular goal in our home is for kids to take five bites off of their plate.
When you set a number, kids less overwhelmed and know they complete the task.
But staring at a plate full of veggies can be daunting — even for an adult!
Picky Eater Tip# 2: Bribe.
Yeah, it’s okay to do this with your kids every once in a while.
Besides, we all do it!
If your child wants another serving of his favorite treat or dessert, do not give in until veggies are eaten.
Prepare a favorite dessert for the first few days of non-picky-eater training.
That way it makes downing those green-looking things even more tempting.
If I’m babysitting other kids, many times you’ll hear my blender whipping up a fruit shake.
It doesn’t take much coaxing to get kids to eat when you put a beautiful shake right in front of their noses!
Picky Eater Tip #3: Recycle and reuse.
If your little one stubbornly refuses to eat veggies, kindly wrap them up, refrigerate them and offer them at the next family meal.
While everyone else enjoys homemade hamburgers, your picky eater has to nibble left-over carrots for dinner.
If she eats carrots from the previous meal, then she can enjoy hamburgers with the rest of the family.
If you’re consistent with this, it really does help the pickiest of eaters learn to appreciate a variety of foods!
Just ask my daughter if she likes carrots…ha!
Picky Eater Tip #4: Get Kids Involved with Food Prep and Cooking.
Kids love to create art.
Let them create fun things out of the ingredients before dinner.
Make a flour snowman, draw silly faces on oranges before you peel them or even something simple as smiley faces with jelly on toast.
Also, let your kids help mix the bread dough, sprinkles the dishes with shredded cheese or measure the ingredients.
Getting your child involved in the kitchen will help stir interest in food, and cultivate a balanced eater!
Picky Eater Tip #5: Make a simple chart for the fridge.
This can be a piece of notebook paper, construction paper or anything plain and simple.
No need to create and print something or purchase a cute chart at the store.
Place a chart on the fridge and tell your child that five smiley faces gets a prize at the end of the week.
How does she get a smiley face?
By eating a specific number of vegetables without whining.
If you have stickers around the house, use those too!
Visual charts always inspire kids to work towards a goal!
Picky Eater Tip #6: Practice what you preach.
Do you want your kids to eat healthy?
Then you have to start eating healthy yourself!
Snack on fruits and veggies and save the chips for an occasional treat.
When your kids see you eating healthy, they’ll want to follow your example!
Picky Eater Tip #7: Be consistent.
I know there are super-tough mom days.
But, even on those frustrating days stick to the “five-bite” rule and the “no dessert unless you eat your food” rule.
When your child sees you are serious about this eating healthy food adventure, they’ll stop boycotting dinner and your family can live happily ever after — at least at the dinner table!
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