Got a Picky Eater?
Got a Picky Eater on Your Hands? Here’s 4 Ideas for Reasoning With Them.
If you’ve got a picky eater at the family table, you know the drill: a little whining, a glum face, and a nutritious dinner that isn’t even touched. You’re tired of being the food referee at the table, and you’ve even come to dread dinner time.
Picky eating isn’t just a nuisance – studies show that it can lead to anxiety in kids. And more than 20 percent of children are very choosy about what they eat.
What to do about your picky eater? We’ve got a few ideas:
- Include your child in menu planning, by making a grocery list together. Then it’s off to the store — make food shopping an adventure! Become ‘food detectives’ and explore the store to find nutritious, delicious foods that make up a balanced diet. Classify foods by the country of origin, or track down items by color. Have fun!
- Welcome your child into the kitchen. Find kid-friendly recipes you can prepare together. Kids get a great sense of accomplishment planning, preparing and serving a meal – and you get a great helper. You can find plenty of websites with recipes for kids to prepare and here’s a site to get you started — http://www.kids-cooking-activities.com/index.html
- Put that pickiness to good use! Have a make-your-own pizza night, and include a contest (offer a little trophy?) for the family member who makes (and eats!) the most creative pizza. Choose different varieties of Rustic Crust (for example, get that fiber in with our Ultimate Whole Grain!) and put together a buffet of toppings – from fruit to veggies to meats. And make the process fun!
- Assign one dinner a week to each child, asking them to decide on the menu. Agree to anything (within reason!), but with one condition: that you choose one healthy item to go along with those cheese fries or hot dog.
Remember that dinner time is usually family time, and with so little time spent together, you want to sit down to a happy, connected family. Be patient, be creative – and have fun!