I have a very picky eater. It was fine when we ate the typical American diet. There were plenty of options they could chose from that would satiate them. But as we moved to more and more of a vegetable heavy diet they were wearing me out trying to devise dinner options
I can hear the comments now. They will get hungry and eventually eat. This is not true for certain children. So what is a parent to do?
Here are 5 tips for when you want to get the pickiest eater to expand their palate.
- Play with your food. I know we were raised to believe it was bad table manners to poke an entree or squish it between our fingers at the table. But believe it or not this is a key sensory step for children to associate themselves with a new food. If junior wants to explore the dish digitally let them. It will help them feel more and more comfortable every time you serve that item.
- Keep trying. Chances are they will not eat and like it on the first try. Some nutrition experts say it can take up to 15 times for a child to actually put a new food item in their mouth and try it. I can attest to the truth in this personally.
- Serve at least 2 other items your child likes. This will make the new items less threatening. And will make dinner time less scary for them.
- Tell them if you don’t like the item you do not have to eat it. But you have to give it an honest try. You are giving them some power and freedom. Press hard for them to eat every item they will dig their heels in but if you let them know your priority is respecting their personal boundaries they will open up to the experience.
- Cook good food. Of course this is a glaringly obvious tip but some people try to go from 0 to 100 overnight. If your kid dislikes veggies chances are they aren’t going to come out of the gate eating more muted or bitter vegetable flavors such as Brussel sprouts or kale. My kids ate broccoli for weeks when one declared that was the only vegetable they had comfort with. After that experience they were ready to try something new!
Small steps. You got this Mama.
As always be blessed friends and be a blessing.