How to Cope with Picky Eaters
Picky eating is temporary.
If you don't make it a big deal, it will usually end before school age. You can do many positive things to deal with picky eating and help your child learn to try new foods.
- Let your kids be “produce pickers.” Let them help pick out fruits and veggies at the store.
- Kids like to try foods they help make. It's a great idea for helping your picky eater try fruits and vegetables. Children also learn about fruits and vegetables when they help make them. And all of that mixing, mashing and measuring makes them want to taste what they are making. See a list of kitchen activities that your child can do.
- Try to make meals a stress-free time. Talk about fun and happy things. If arguments often happen at mealtimes, your preschooler may learn unhealthy attitudes toward food.
- Offer choices. Rather than asking "Do you want broccoli for dinner?" ask “Which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?”
- Offer a variety of foods and let your child choose how much of these foods to eat. Tips on helping your child recognize how much to eat.
- Offer the same foods for the whole family. Don't be a “short-order cook,” making a different meal for your preschooler. Your child will be okay even if they don't eat a meal now and then.
- Make food fun! Get creative in the kitchen with these cool ideas.
A child that helps in the kitchen:
- Tries and likes more foods
- Gains confidence, feels important, and proud
- Learns early math and science concepts
- Learns new vocabulary
- Develops small muscle skills
- Learns responsibility with cleanup
More on Developing Healthy Eating Habits