|Shaking their head at dinner, throwing their snack, playing with their lunch or endlessly crying when you try to coax them to eat…sound familiar? Feeding a picky eater is a daily struggle for many parents. Starting at toddler age, kids may refuse certain foods because of taste or turn away food altogether. But as the mom of a picky eater, it’s hard not to stress about whether your child is getting the proper nutrition.
Try the following tips to help get your child eating:
Make a game out of meal time.
Present your child with different fruits and veggies and let them play with different combinations. Ask them to use the food to make a funny face or a design on their plate. Making mealtime into a game takes stress off of the situation. If your child is relaxed and having fun, they may be more willing to eat the healthy food.
Try these fun healthy recipes.
Turn your child’s food into a fun creation. From Choosemyplate.org, these fun recipes are sure to get your kid eating…
- Bugs on a log
Use celery, cucumber, or carrot sticks as the log and add peanut butter. Top with dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, or cherries, depending on what bugs you want!
- Fruity peanut butterfly
Start with carrot sticks or celery for the body. Attach wings made of thinly sliced apples with peanut butter and decorate with halved grapes or dried fruit.
- Personalized pizzas
Set up a pizza-making station in the kitchen. Use whole-wheat English muffins, bagels, or pita bread as the crust. Have tomato sauce, low-fat cheese, and cut-up vegetables or fruits for toppings. Let kids choose their own favorites. Then pop the pizzas into the oven to warm.
Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.
Don’t overwhelm your child with a plateful of healthy foods. Start with small servings of fruits or veggies along with foods that he or she likes. Start slow and let your child ask for more on their own. Forcing your child to eat healthy foods will only make them angry and less compliant.
Turn off the television and remove your child from their play area for mealtimes. If he or she is focused on the task at hand, they will be less likely to refuse eating.
Have advice for other moms with picky eaters? Share your thoughts.