Try These Tips To Make Eating Fun For Your Picky Eater

Are mealtimes a full-blown war zone in your home?

While some children may have a bold appetite and are open to experimenting with new foods, other children flat out refuse to eat anything other than a select handful of items.

However, there are actually ways you can get your picky eater to eat healthy food, and have fun while doing it.

Here are 5 ideas you can incorporate into your daily mealtime routine:

1. Get Creative With Dips: Many children simply don’t like to eat food unless it’s paired with something else. You can use healthy options like hummus and a homemade dressing to get your children eating their fruit and veggies.

Stay away from most typical store brand dressings which are loaded with unhealthy ingredients such as processed food dyes and high fructose corn syrup – the goal is to get your child to eat veggies, not become addicted to sugar!

2. Make Fun Shapes And Sizes: Show your child eating can be a fun experience! Try cutting their sandwich into the shape of a star, or making the traditional “ants on a log” to encourage them to eat celery, raisins, and a nut butter.

You can even blend fresh fruit and make your own homemade popsicles! There are endless possibilities of shapes and sizes you can explore with your child.

3. Get Them Involved In The Cooking Process: Next time your cooking dinner, have your child help. If they are younger, you can have them help you wash your fresh produce in the sink or stir together ingredients.

If they are mid-age, have them help you cut soft items such as strawberries using a plastic knife. As they get older, they can help measure out items, or set the table.

By involving your child in the cooking process, they are more likely to be invested in the final product.

4. Take It Easy With Introducing New Foods: While the goal is to introduce your child to new foods, take it easy. Introducing too much at once can seem overwhelming to a child, and the more you try to force them to eat a bunch of different foods, the greater chance they’ll resist.

Slowly incorporate new foods into each meal, and pay attention to the food they actually like. You can also try “first/then” statements, to encourage your child to eat the less preferred item first, then their favorite food second.

5. Schedule Mealtimes: Let’s face it, kids are hungry all the time! Plan to feed your child every couple hours, whether it’s a quick healthy snack after lunch, or something more substantial.

In addition, make sure your child stays hydrated throughout the day, as often times hunger pains are actually signs of dehydration.  If you can sustain their appetite, they won’t be starving when it’s time to eat, and they’ll be less likely to be cranky and fidgety.

If you are going on a long car ride, consider packing snacks in the car to sustain their hunger.

If your child is a picky eater, try these tips to make mealtimes fun again. Get creative!

And remember, do what works for you. Every child is unique and different, and there isn’t a one-size fits all model.

Experiment with different ways at home on how you can encourage your picky eater to try new foods, without waging in a full-blown standoff battle.

What are some ways you’ve gotten your child to eat new foods? What’s your favorite creative technique to make food fun for your child?

Tell us your ideas in the comments below.

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