Ending the Battle with Picky Eaters

Child Not Happy With Her Food

Dinners can sometimes be a battle, especially if your child is refusing to eat their vegetables. While serving chicken nuggets or ordering pizza can help you keep out of this war, this also means missing the opportunity to help a picky eater eat a balanced meal.

Fortunately, getting your little one to eat healthy and balanced meals doesn’t have to be a war. Family medical centers in Lehi share a few tips on dealing with picky eaters:

  • Stop storing or buying unhealthy snacks. If cookies, candies, chips, and soda are not around, your children cannot consume them. It is best to keep healthy treats readily available like a bag of fruits (with apples and oranges) instead of cookies or chips. They may resort to eating healthy snacks or what’s available when they get hungry.
  • Include your kids in shopping and meal preparation. Ask for your kids’ help when grocery shopping or preparing food. Let them choose fruits, vegetables, and other healthy choices. You can also let them wash the ingredients, mix the salad, or add salt and pepper. This will give them a sense of ownership, which will encourage them to eat the meal.
  • Serve new food along with favorites. When introducing new food items, serve them along with what your child likes. If they like potato salad, you can throw in some shredded vegetables. If they prefer pancakes, adding slices of fruits is a good idea. Continue serving healthy choices until they become accustomed to them.
  • Make healthy foods look fun. When serving veggies and other healthy treats, you can include their preferred dip or sauce. You may also want to use cookies cutters to cut foods in different shapes. You can also play a food game called the Food Rainbow game to encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid distractions. Be sure to turn off the TV and other gadgets when having a meal. This will help your kids to focus more on eating and chew their food better. This will also allow you to eat as a family, which promotes togetherness and better nutrition.

Apart from these tips, don’t forget to be a good role model. You can better influence children in eating healthy by example. You can also benefit from consulting a family doctor for other recommendations for picky eaters.