Picky Eaters Part 2
Some of my past blogs about getting your kids involved in cooking, and “letting go” of how much they eat will help prevent raising a picky eater. If you have tried these ideas, and are still struggling, you can choose a few of these tips to work on. And remember that like most things related to children, picky eating is usually just a phase. It often peaks around age three, and your little one should become more adventurous as they grow older.
- Serve snacks with plenty of time prior to meals (1 to 2 hours) to encourage appetite at meals. Set meal and snack times tend to work better for most children.
- Children may be more likely to eat a new food when they are hungry. Offer the new or rejected food at the beginning of a meal, or during the meal/snack that your child usually eats the best.
- Avoid milk and juice in between meals and snacks, as this can reduce appetite. Offer water instead.
- Sometimes a child will need to see a new food up to 20 times before he/she will accept it! Encourage your infant or toddler to try the new food, but respect their decision to like or dislike the food. We all have foods we dislike, even as adults. Children’s tastes change, so offer the rejected food again at another time.
- Try offering a new food with familiar foods, so your child will have something to eat.
- Do not “cater” to your child and cook them a different meal from your family.
- Offer a rejected food cooked a different way or cut into different & fun shapes.
- Your child may be more likely to try the new food when family members or other children are eating the food.
- Offer small portions of food, as large servings can be intimidating. Your child can have seconds if they are still hungry.
- Allow your child to have their food for a reasonable length of time (20 to 30 minutes). After which time remove the food without making a fuss.
- Relax! It will make meal time easier for everyone.