Feeding A Picky Child

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Children can be very stubborn.  They may make up their mind they don’t like a particular food and they refuse to even try it.  This can be very frustrating for the parent who knows a healthy diet is important for a child.

Feeding a child a steady diet of processed foods every day at every meal is not the greatest way to promote a healthy lifestyle for the child.

There are a few things you can try to get your child to eat better and enjoy fresh foods.

First, try to relax and be calm.  If the child refuses to eat let him alone, but do not provide any substitutes.

Avoid giving a child snacks all during the day so he is hungry at mealtime.  A small piece of fruit  or some other small snack in the middle of the day is fine.

Children often will copy the action of the parent so you need to eat a variety of foods also.

If you plant a small garden the child will likely be interested in eating food he has helped to grow.  Likewise the child may want to try food he has helped you prepare.

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Remember children have small stomachs so do not put an overwhelming portion on his plate.  Cut a hamburger on a bun or a sandwich into small pieces so they are not too intimidating for a child.

Put a small portion of a new food on the plate next to something the child already likes.

Make food fun and interesting.  You can make pancakes in various shapes.  Use cookie cutters to make small different sandwiches and cut out some vegetables.  Cut fruits and vegetables into shapes like boats or flowers or animals.  Serve a small dip with the raw vegetables.

If the child does not like the texture of raw vegetables cook them.  Conversely, if he does not like the texture of cooked vegetables try raw ones.

Serve noodle soup with added vegetables.  Most young children like to slurp soup with noodles.

Try giving the child chopsticks to make eating more challenging and interesting.

Do not bribe a child with if your eat a then I’ll give you b.

If the child will not eat his food then he skips dessert.

Another way to be sure your child is eating some healthy foods is to incorporate vegetables into something he does enjoy like dessert.  Zucchini can be made into bread – just call it something other than zucchini bread.  Vegetables can be added to cookies, cakes and pies.

Vegetables can be pureed and added to sauces and stews.

Most children like fruit juice and now there are juices which combine fruit with vegetable juice.

You just need to be able to outsmart your picky eater.  Get creative so your child can learn to like foods which are good for him.  Of course he will not like everything he tries, but there are enough healthy foods to give a child a varied diet he will like and actually enjoy eating.