Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tips for Pickey Eaters

Is your child a picky eater? Does your child only want to eat chicken nuggets and Spagghetios? I often get this concern from parents. I can now admit that it isn't a piece of cake to spoon feed a 6 month old, while getting dinner prepared for the rest of the family. Why on earth would I want to make 3 different meals for everyone! Growing up in my family there was one meal for dinner, and we either ate it or sat there and watched everyone eat it. We learned to enjoy the hard work and appreciate a good healthy home cooked meal! Whatever the meal was, we always had a fresh green salad on the table and surprisingly I still love salad and continued the tradition. On birthdays and special occasions my parents let us pick out our favorite meal. My favorite meal was london broil with asparagus and red potatoes. YUM! Here are some great tips for your picky eaters!

1. Be patient when introducing a new food. Children can have food adversions and taste changes, so don't give up the first time! I remember the first time I tried sushi I was not a big fan and now I love it!

2. Mealtime routines: set regular times and do not offer snacks one hour before meals. You want hungry tummies coming to the table!

3. Get sneaky! Make casseroles with veggies mixed in!

4. Let your child help you shop, prepare, and help cook! Children want to help, and what a better way to get them excited about food, and get them in the kitchen.

5. DON'T use dessert as a reward! Desert should also be a special occasion! Your kids too will learn to be satisfied with the meal itself.

6. Mealtimes and snack times should be fun! Kids love to nibble and especially love to dip, so make some snacks trays with healthy bite-sized treats.

7. Set good examples with your own eating habits. Your children are making sure you eat your veggies!

8. Teach your children about the benefits of fruits and vegetables! For example: carrots contain vitamin A and beta-carotene that help you maintain good eye health; broccoli contains calcium, which help you build strong bones.

Images obtained from microsoft clip art.