If you have picky eaters in your family, mealtimes can be a challenge. You may feel like you’re constantly preparing separate meals or struggling to get your kids to eat anything at all. But don’t despair – there are plenty of foods that even the most finicky eaters will enjoy.
Journal your results. Here are some ideas to get you started:
– set a good example for the picky eater(s) by eating a rainbow of colors each day, trying new foods, and engaging the family in a discussion about the food.
– develop a food vocabulary with your picky eater so that they can describe foods in words that connect. What did they like? What did they not like? Why? How can it be made so that they may eat more of it?
– offer a variety of small, bite-sized foods that they can pick and choose from. Allow 10-12 times before you decide what the picky eater in your family really doesn’t like. Sometimes repetition allows for acceptance.
– focus on texture – some kids prefer smooth foods while others like something to chew on
– experiment with different flavors – sweet, sour, spicy, etc.
– let them help with meal prep – kids are more likely to eat something they’ve had a hand in making
– be patient – it may take a few tries for them to acquire a taste for new foods
– avoid “fuzzy”, sugary and bubbly drinks that fill the stomach prior to eating. I would say definitely no snacks or soda at least an hour and a half or two hours before a meal.
– reduce and avoid distractions during meal times. No TV, cell phone, tablets, etc. Make meals a totally family engagement event.
With a little creativity and patience, you can turn mealtimes from a battle into a fun and enjoyable experience for the whole family.