Is Your Child A Picky Eater? Here Are 10 Non-Violent Ways To Deal With This Problem

Do you dread mealtime because you know your picky eater will cause a fuss?  Are you completely stressed out after feeding your child?

It is not unusual for a child to be a picky eater.  Children are naturally hesitant to try new things.

Here are a few tips which might help make life with a picky eater less stressful and more pleasant and productive for both you and your child.

1.  Have dinner with your child at an early hour – perhaps 5 or 5:30.  Children tend to be tired and cranky later in the evening and are not interested in sitting for several minutes for a meal.  In order to have a child who is hungry and perhaps ready to eat, limit the beverages between meals to water.  Save milk or juice drinks for mealtime.

2.  Children normally have some foods they actually like to eat.  Entice your child with a bite or two of a new food and follow the new food with something the child likes to eat.

3.  Your child may enjoy eating a food more if he/she likes the name.  Instead of cauliflower call it snowballs and your child may be willing to try eating the “snowball”.  Call sliced carrot circles pirate gold and the child may be interested.

4.  Make the food interesting.  If the child is old enough let him help prepare it.  Have a small garden and let the child help grow the food.  Growing or preparing something will make eating it more exciting.

5.  Lead by example.  Don’t expect your child to try a food you are not willing to eat.  Let the child see you eating and enjoying the food.

6.  Keep in mind that children have small appetites. A large portion of food can turn a child off.  A good rule of thumb is one tablespoon of a food for every year your child is old.  That is, a one year old child is served only one tablespoon of potatoes not a half cup.

Of course, if the child wants more after finishing the first portion he/she can have more.

7.  If you child does not like a food such as carrots when they are cooked try serving them raw.  You need to be sure the raw vegetable will not be a choking hazard.  Children usually like things that are sweet.  Try roasting vegetables which gives them a sweeter taste.  Hide some vegetables by incorporating them into other foods the child does like.

You can add pureed vegetables to sauces or substitute things like pumpkin puree or applesauce in baked goods and the child will never know the difference.

8.  Cut foods into interesting shapes your child might like.

9.  Serve several very small plates for a meal.  Your child might find it interesting.  Try a few slices of melon with a few strips of cheese.  Next some mashed cauliflower with one or two chicken nuggets.  Finally a small dish of yogurt with a quarter peanut butter sandwich or some carrot slices.

10. Children have problems trying new foods.  They may at first simply look at it and refuse to eat..  Next they may put it in their mouth and then take it out.  Finally after the food has been presented to them on about a half dozen different occasions they’ll decide to try eating a bite.  If they  like that first bite they’ll continue eating.

Keep in mind picky eating is a phase most children outgrow after a short time. (Although to the parent it seems like forever.)

If your child is growing at a normal rate then he/she is likely receiving the necessary nutrition.