During my webinar for ADDitude Magazine last Friday several questions came up about picky eaters and how to get them to broaden their food selection. I have a few more comments to add to what I said.
First, please don’t turn meals into war zones over food (or other problems)! Mealtime should be a happy time where family members share the highlights of their day. So no arguments over what your child will eat or not eat! No world war III.
Second, with that said, research has shown that for some children new foods need to be presented several times with the suggestion they eat one bite. Sometimes it may take 10 times before the child decides the food may be acceptable after all! So persist and don’t give up!
Third, here are some examples of healthy foods that children tend to like: Cherry tomatoes because they are small and rather sweet; red grapes for the same reason; baby carrots with a dip; a cup of vegetable soup because some children would rather drink their vegetables, a fruit smoothie for the same reason; orange juice but don’t overdo because of the high natural sugar; blueberries with a little xylitol; fresh sweet pitted red cherries. A dab of unsweetened peanut butter on a spoon.
Fourth, sometimes including healthy vegetables and fruits in other foods will be tolerated. For example, pumpkin bread is healthy because of the beta carotene rich pumpkin. Chopped nuts will also add to its nutritional value. Just replace the sugar in the recipe with xylitol, monk fruit, or stevia. Or try a cherry crisp using frozen dark sweet cherries and white whole wheat flour, xylitol, and butter for the topping. Or make this with blueberries.
Fifth, my family used to gather in the kitchen before a meal. They were starving so I would put out a plate of veggies on the counter with a dip, and before the meal had started they had consumed a serving of veggies.
If you have any suggestions for picky eaters, I hope you’ll write and share them with other readers. Good luck!