Many young children go through a stage where they become extremely choosy about what they eat. Though it’s a normal phase, parents of picky eaters may be concerned about whether their kids are getting enough nutrients. If your child refuses to eat anything green or seems to be eating nothing but mac and cheese, never fear – try these tricks to broaden his or her mealtime horizons.
- Don’t let kids drink juice or other sugary drinks throughout the day.1 By filling up on non-nutritive liquids, they won’t have room for the balanced dinner you planned.2 Instead, make sure your child drinks plenty of water throughout the day.
- Make mealtime fun! Serve brightly colored foods and use cookie cutters to create awesome, kid-friendly shapes.2 After all, eating is more fun when your veggies are shaped like hearts, stars and flowers.
- Let your child get involved in the decision-making process. Ask for help picking out healthy foods from the grocery store and encourage your child to assist with dinner preparation. Kids can rinse veggies and mix ingredients.2
- Don’t offer dessert as a reward. That implies that dessert is the best part of the meal,2 which may just increase your picky child’s desire for sweet treats. Instead, you can redefine dessert to mean fruit or yogurt – or skip dessert altogether.
With these helpful hints, your picky child should be saying “yes” (or at least, maybe) to fun, healthy options in no time. And it might make dinnertime more enjoyable for you, too!