Picky Eating Top Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters 1) Only buy the foods that you want your picky baby or child to eat. 2) Avoid empty calorie snacks like chips or soft drinks and keep a supply of healthy snacks on hand – maybe have a low shelf in the fridge with cut up fresh fruit and other healthy foods. When children are hungry, they won‟t wait. 3) Blind Man‟s Grub. If you have a little „junk food junkie‟ who refuses to try anything new, play a game where you blindfold your child and give him several foods to taste, some old favorites and some new and see if he can identify what they are! 4) Too much food on a plate can be intimidating. Keep portions small and give second helpings if requested. You can make individual portions of food like shepherd‟s pie in ramekin dishes it is much more appealing than a dollop of food on a plate. 5) If your child is underweight and not eating well they need as much energy (calories) as possible. Choose full fat dairy products like cheese, and avoid using „low fat‟ dairy products. 6) Start your child off on fresh baby food rather than jars of processed baby food with a shelf life of two years. If they are used to a variety of fresh flavors early on they are much less likely to become picky eaters when you try to integrate them into family meal times. 7) If children will not eat vegetables, create recipes that vegetables can be blended into such as a tomato and vegetable sauce for pasta or a creamy tomato soup made with carrots and onions. What children can‟t see, they can‟t pick out. Also many children who don‟t like cooked vegetables will eat raw vegetables like carrot sticks, sweet pepper etc with a tasty dip. 8) When a child comes home from school he is usually very hungry so this is a good time to give healthy food. Instead of whole fruit in a fruit bowl cut up a selection of colorful fruits into bite sized pieces. Have healthy snacks like mini cheeses, dried fruit, a bowl of salad with a tasty dressing on the table so that your child eats these rather than chips or oreos. 9) Give your child scope to assert her independence, perhaps by letting her choose two out of the three vegetables offered to her. 10) Inviting another child over for play, preferably one with a good appetite tends to be a good ruse. Invariably you will find that your child will eat what is offered provided her friend is eating it too! 11) Once a child‟s palate has become accustomed to the intense sweetness of refined sugary foods it is harder for them to appreciate the more gentle natural sweetness of fruit. If you want your child to enjoy fresh fruit, restrict sugary foods. 12) Mealtimes are social occasions so set a good example by eating with your child as often as possible. You can‟t expect your child to realize that meal times involve sitting down in one place for some time unless he sees you and the rest of the family doing the same thing. Try to avoid distractions at mealtimes like television. 13) If your child absolutely refuses to eat his veggies, create recipes that vegetables can be blended into such as a tomato sauce with pasta and you can blend vegetables like carrot, zucchini and mushroom into the sauce so that they are invisible? You can also make „healthy junk food‟ like chicken or beef burgers with grated carrot and apple mixed in and this keeps them deliciously moist. What children can‟t see, they can‟t pick out. 14) Also many children who don‟t like cooked vegetables may enjoy eating raw vegetables like carrot sticks, sweet pepper etc with a tasty dip. 15) One food that almost no child can resist is an ice pop and it‟s easy to make your own ice pops from pureed fresh fruit and pure fruit juices. You can pick up ice pop moulds at the dollar store or Mapes (if you have them in your area. From Our House to Yours… Thankfully, my two girls love their veggies and fruits, but I started early. In Morgan‟s case, I had no choice because she could not digest any kind of milk – however I meet so many children at my classes and demos who are picky eaters – I have a few recommendations: 1. Kids are kids and they love to play, so… Let them play with their food. Our interactive placemats allow children to build characters from fruits and veggies. The mats are now being used at Narberth Natural Café and can be purchased online as well. 2. Definitely solicit their help when you are in the kitchen. If you don‟t frequent the kitchen much, then… go to 3 below. 3. Sign up for our “Yuk, I don‟t like that” class for you and your picky eater. If your schedule does not allow you to do this, then ensure to try at least 3 of the suggestions above, consistently for 3 weeks. Let me know how you make out.. email@example.com 4. Stay tuned for Picky Eaters 102: the next in this series.
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