If you're one of the unfortunate parents of a picky eater, we feel for you. Let me guess...chicken fingers or pasta are the usual dinner menu item?
It's a common problem among children so we wanted to share some great tips and solutions to tackle the issue at hand. First, we want to talk about WHY kids are picky eaters? If we understand the reason, it will help us in finding solutions. Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons is parents can't say no. We love to see the joy on our child's face when we say, "Yes, of course I can make you chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast." Another reason is because very early on, young children are only exposed to the soft, white food products such as chicken fingers, pasta, french fries, etc. It also doesn't help the fact that these are easy things to make and you may not have the time to try a million different dinner ideas on a weeknight!
So what to do?
Make Sure They are Hungry - A simple fix is to not give them big snacks before meal time. The hungrier they are, the more appealing the food will be. If they are too hungry in between meals, offer them fruit or veggies instead of carbs.
Make it Fun - Kids like to feel that they are "playing" more than eating. The problem is, not everyone is the most creative when it comes to making fun snacks for kids. We have come up with a Pinterest board filled with tons of simple ideas for parents to try. Check out our "Picky Eaters" Pinterest board.
Keep Them Involved - If your children are helping you prepare the meal or the snacks, they will feel proud of their accomplishments and want to at least TRY it. Like we said, it's like playing a game and they want to be a part of it!
Eliminate the Bad Options - Hate to say it but it's true; don't have junk food in the house at all. If you say "Sorry, we don't have ice cream," it sounds a lot better than "Sorry, you can't have ice cream"
Plant a Garden - If you're able, try planting a small garden of veggies, herbs and/or fruits. This can be something you and your children tend to together and you can teach them the benefits of growing your own food and how healthy it is. When you're able to pick them, your child will be so proud to eat their very own fruits and veggies!
ToothPicks! A simple option to try is putting a toothpick in any bite-size food portion (sliced bananas, cucumbers, chicken, sliced hot dogs, etc). Basically, anything you want them to eat; try presenting them with toothpicks and they will have more fun eating their meal. Worth a shot!