“Michael won’t eat anything green, just because of the color.”
“Maria doesn’t sit still at the table. She can’t seem to pay attention long enough to eat a meal!”
“Bananas used to be Matt’s favorite food, now he won’t even touch them!”
Do any of these statements sound familiar? Don’t worry, you are not alone!
Picky eating is a common behavior for many preschoolers. Here are some helpful tips that might encourage your child to eat healthier!
Healthier Eating Tips:
- Offer new foods first: When your child is hungry, introduce a new food; it can be the best way for your child to try new foods.
- Only offer one new food at a time! Patience is vital when introducing new types of foods. Let your child taste and enjoy one new food at a time.
- Offer the same foods for the whole family- not just for your children. Whatever you feed your children, the whole family should eat the same food.
- Let your kids be “produce pickers.” At the grocery store, show your child all the produce we can eat with a meal.
- Have your children help you prepare the meal of the night. By allowing them to help you cook, they feel a sense of control of the food cooked at home. Children will develop a sense of curiosity and even adventure when they prepare the food.
- Offer choices. Let them choose what vegetable they can eat. “What would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?”
- Never force your child to eat any food they do not want to eat. Try not to demand them to eat the new food. Whatever you do, do not judge them if they react negatively when they try the new food.
Hopefully, these tips are helpful. Whenever your child tries new healthier foods, always remember, meal time at home should be a pleasant and a calm experience for you and your family. Opening your child’s world to explore all the possible healthier foods will create an enjoyable and memorable meal time.
For more information, please check out the following website: http://www.nal.usda.gov/wicworks/Topics/TipsPickyEaters.pdf
Written by Samantha Fortier