Picky Eating

February 9, 2017
Picky Eating

Have you given up on vegetables? Picky eaters are challenging for many families.  Here are some of our favorite tips to help.

  • Don’t stress! Research shows it can take a baby up to 15 tries before they accept a new food into their diet!
  • Be calm and relaxed about mealtime.  Don’t take a refusal personally (even if you spent all day cooking) and try not to stress about food choices.  
  • Don’t create a power struggle.  Fighting with your children about what they eat doesn’t work. Since children ultimately have control about what goes in and out of their bodies, this is a battle you won’t win.
  • Eat together!   Eating with your children, especially eating the same thing, makes it more likely that they will develop healthy eating habits.  If you won’t eat the peas, why would they??  
  • Avoid force feeding a small child.  Letting your child learn when they are full is an important part of regulating themselves.  You can promote this by letting children decide when they have had enough.  
  • Get your older children involved in mealtime.  Cooking and grocery shopping are great activities to engage children in healthy eating.  If they buy (or even plant!) the vegetable themselves, they are more likely to give them a try at home.  Cooking also teaches children about amounts – an easy way to promote early math skills!  
  • Finally, get creative.  Try cutting vegetables into shapes or adding fruits or veggies to a favorite dish (like peas in their rice or fruit in their yogurt).  Making food look more appealing can go a long way to pleasing picky eaters!!!

For more helpful tips, click here.  For additional resources, check out the ChooseMyPlate site, here.