Picky Eaters

  August 29, 2011  |    Blog

Picky Eaters can be challenging, but understanding your kid’s eating habits can help you make dinnertime a more pleasurable experience. Kids innately prefer sweeter foods and don’t necessarily like to try new foods. But you can get around this!

The trick is to continue to offer healthy foods even if your kid dislikes them in the beginning. Their taste buds are maturing, and foods they once disdained, they may later grow to love. Keep putting the healthy foods and veggies on your kids’ plate. Don’t make a big deal about it if they don’t eat it or try it. It can take more than 15 exposures to a food before a kid actually tries it! And often it takes several times of trying and retrying a food before children develop a taste for that food.

As kids, we detested eggs. And Tammy wouldn’t touch green cabbage. However, our Mom consistently offered them and they always seemed to show up on our plates. Now these are foods we love!

Making meal time a pleasurable experience is important so forcing children to finish everything on their plates is never a good idea. Let them eat as much as they want and encourage them to taste new foods frequently.

Some helpful tips to get your kids to eat more vegetables: Set a good example. You can’t expect your little one to eat broccoli if you don’t!

Also, to add variety, try sweetening bitter vegetables by adding caramelized onions, a touch of honey, lemon or mild vinegar. Try different cooking methods. And don’t forget about serving veggies raw to approach the vegetable from a new perspective. Boiling, mashing, and baking all create a different texture and feel, so experiment with the method that works best. In the end, respect your child’s likes and dislikes and never force them to eat something. Just continue to offer a healthy range of items and give your child the opportunity to acquire a taste for that food over time.

What kind of foods have you acquired a taste for that you once loathed as a kid?

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