Picky eaters can really be maddening.
Feeding an entire family can be difficult enough on its own with busy evenings full of hustle and bustle.
One additional factor that can cause even more headaches is dealing with a picky eater, especially a child whose preferred menu ranges from hot dogs to candy.
But there’s no reason to make it a battle!
You can help your child become a more adventurous eater.
And over time, you’ll be surprised at what they’ll try!
5 Tips to Encourage Picky Eaters
If you’re looking to widen the palate of your picky eater (or eaters), consider these tips to start down a path toward a more expansive slate of family meals.
Loading up your little ones’ plates with steamed veggies and sautéed fish may be a surefire way to send them to the pantry for a less nutritious snack.
Instead, try combining personal favorites with small portions of foods you’d like to introduce, such as chicken nuggets alongside green beans or topping pizza with a couple of black olives.
Don’t Force It
While it can be frustrating to constantly hear “no” to fruits and veggies, forcing them upon children may turn them away for good.
In addition, a struggle over eating certain foods may create a constant sense of frustration around mealtime, which may only decrease a child’s desire to expand his or her horizons.
Create a Fun Experience
Remember not every meal has to include something new.
On occasion, mix up mealtime by serving your children’s favorites, even if it’s as simple as a hamburger or as creative as breakfast for dinner.
And when you do introduce something new, why not do it while you’re having a picnic!
You could even do an indoor picnic.
Bring Your Sidekicks to the Store
Introducing your children to the place your family’s food comes from may help them feel more comfortable with new flavors.
Plus, by letting them in on the shopping process, you can have some help choosing foods they’re more likely to be willing to try.
Let Children Help Cook
Much like choosing their own ingredients increases the likelihood they’ll try something new, perhaps becoming part of the cooking process can help children see how a meal comes together.
It doesn’t have to be a gourmet experience – simply seasoning roasted broccoli with salt and olive oil, for example, can introduce your up-and-coming chefs to the kitchen while helping make the cooking (and eating) process a fun adventure.
Our favorite thing to make with the kids was DIY pizza night!
It’s easier than you think and way more fun.
Read more about picky eating:
- Stop the Food Fights: Tips for Picky Eaters
- 5 Simple Ways to Expand Your Picky Eater’s Palate
- Why Your Toddler is a Picky Eater
For some terrific books, check out the affiliate links below.
From picky toddlers to extreme picky eating (which may indicate bigger sensory issues), you’ll find these help on turning your picky eaters around.
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For more food tips and kid-friendly recipes, visit Culinary.net.